Heat-solubilized curry spice curcumin inhibits antibody-antigen interaction in in vitro studies: a possible therapy to alleviate autoimmune disorders.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Aug;54(8):1202-9. PMID: 20146265
Arthritis and Immunology Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Chronic and complex autoimmune diseases, currently treated palliatively with immunosuppressives, require multi-targeted therapy for greater effectiveness. The naturally occurring polyphenol curcumin has emerged as a powerful "nutraceutical" that interacts with multiple targets to regress diseases safely and inexpensively. Up to 8 g/day of curcumin for 18 months was non-toxic to humans. However, curcumin's utility is limited by its aqueous insolubility. We have demonstrated a heat-mediated 12-fold increase in curcumin's aqueous solubility. Here, we show by SDS-PAGE and surface plasmon resonance that heat-solubilized curcumin binds to proteins. Based on this binding we hypothesized that heat-solubilized curcumin or turmeric would prevent autoantibody targeting of cognate autoantigens. Heat-solubilized curcumin/turmeric significantly decreased binding of autoantibodies from Sjögren's syndrome (up to 43/70%, respectively) and systemic lupus erythematosus (up to 52/70%, respectively) patients as well as an animal model of Sjögren's syndrome (up to 50/60%, respectively) to their cognate antigens. However, inhibition was not specific to autoimmunity. Heat-solubilized curcumin/turmeric also inhibited binding of commercial polyclonal anti-spectrin to spectrin (50/56%, respectively). Thus, we suggest that the multifaceted heat-solubilized curcumin can ameliorate autoimmune disorders. In addition, the non-toxic curcumin could serve as a new protein stain in SDS-PAGE eventhough it is less sensitive than the Coomassie system which involves toxic chemicals.