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Effects of Curcumin on Lipid Membranes: an EPR Spin-label Study

Author:
Duda, Mariusz  Cygan, Kaja  Wisniewska-Becker, Anna  


Journal:
CELL BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS


Issue Date:
2020


Abstract(summary):

Curcumin is a yellow-orange dye widely used as a spice, food coloring and food preservative. It also exhibits a broad range of therapeutic effects against different disorders such as cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative diseases. As a compound insoluble in water curcumin accumulates in cell membranes and due to this location it may indirectly lead to the observed effects by structurally altering the membrane environment. To exert strong structural effects on membrane curcumin needs to adopt a transbilayer orientation. However, there is no agreement in literature as to curcumin's orientation and its structural effects on membranes. Here, we investigated the effects of curcumin on lipid order, lipid phase transition, and local polarity in a model liposome membranes made of DMPC or DSPC using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin labeling technique. Curcumin affected lipid order at different depths within the membrane: it slightly increased the phospholipid polar headgroup mobility as monitored by spectral parameters of T-PC, while along the acyl chain the ordering effect was observed in terms of order parameter S. Also, rotational correlation times tau(2B) and tau(2C) of 16-PC in the membrane center were increased by curcumin. Polarity measurements performed in frozen suspensions of liposomes revealed enhancement of water penetration by curcumin in the membrane center (16-PC) and in the polar headgroup region (T-PC) while the intermediate positions along the acyl chain (5-PC and 10-PC) were not significantly affected. Curcumin at a lower concentration (5 mol%) shifted the temperature of the DMPC main phase transition to lower values and increased the transition width, and at a higher concentration (10 mol%) abolished the transition completely. The observed effects suggest that curcumin adopts a transbilayer orientation within the membrane and most probably form oligomers of two molecules, each of them spanning the opposite bilayer leaflets. The effects are also discussed in terms of curcumin's protective activity and compared with those imposed on membranes by other natural dyes known for their protective role, namely polar carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.


Page:
139---147


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