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Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 336, Issue 1–2, pp 85–95 | Cite as

Multifocal signal modulation therapy of cancer: ancient weapon, modern targets

  • Tanya DasEmail author
  • Gaurisankar Sa
  • Baisakhi Saha
  • Kaushik Das
Article

Abstract

Although safe in most cases, ancient treatments are ignored because neither their active components nor their molecular targets are well defined. This is not the case, however, with curcumin, a yellow-pigment substance and component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), which was identified more than a century ago. Recently, extensive research has addressed the chemotherapeutic potential of this relatively nontoxic-plant-derived polyphenol. Because most cancers are caused by deregulation of as many as 500 different genes, agents that target multiple gene products are needed for prevention and treatment of cancer. In this regard, curcumin has been reported to have immense potentiality for being used in cancer chemotherapy because of its control over the machineries of cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis. The mechanisms implicated are diverse and appear to involve a combination of cell signaling pathways at multiple levels. This review seeks to summarize the unique multifocal signal modulatory properties of the “ancient weapon,” curcumin, which may be exploited for successful clinical cancer prevention.

Keywords

Apoptosis Angiogenesis Cancer Cell signaling Curcumin Metastasis Survival 

Abbreviations

Akt

Protein kinase B

CDK

Cyclin-dependent kinase

EGFR

Epidermal growth factor receptor

IκB

Inhibitor of κB

IKK

Inhibitor of κB kinase

iNOS

Inducible nitric oxide synthase

JAK

Janus kinase

JNK

c-Jun N-terminal kinase

MAPK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

NFκB

Nuclear factor κB

PI3K

Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase

PCNA

Proliferating cell nuclear antigen

PKC

Protein kinase C

PPAR

Peroxisomal proliferators-activated receptor

pRB

Retinoblastoma protein

STAT

Signal transducer and activator of transcription

Notes

Acknowledgment

This study was performed in the authors’ laboratories, and was supported by research grants from CSIR, DST, ICMR, and DBT, Government of India.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya Das
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gaurisankar Sa
    • 1
  • Baisakhi Saha
    • 1
  • Kaushik Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Molecular MedicineBose InstituteKolkataIndia

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