Curcumin cross-links cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) polypeptides and potentiates CFTR channel activity by distinct mechanisms

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the CFTR chloride channel. Wild type and mutant CFTR channels can be activated by curcumin, a well tolerated dietary compound with some appeal as a prospective CF therapeutic. However, we show here that curcumin has the unexpected effect of cross-linking CFTR polypeptides into SDS-resistant oligomers. This effect occurred for CFTR channels in microsomes as well as in intact cells and at the same concentrations that are effective for promoting CFTR channel activity (5-50 αM). Both mature CFTR polypeptides at the cell surface and immature CFTR protein in the endoplasmic reticulum were cross-linked by curcumin, although the latter pool was more susceptible to this modification. Curcumin cross-linked two CF mutant channels (bF508 and G551D) as well as a variety of deletion constructs that lack the major cytoplasmic domains. In vitro cross-linking could be prevented by high concentrations of oxidant scavengers (i.e. reduced glutathione and sodium azide) indicating a possible oxidation reaction with the CFTR polypeptide. Importantly, cyclic derivatives of curcumin that lack the reactive β diketone moiety had no cross-linking activity. One of these cyclic derivatives stimulated the activities of wild type CFTR channels, Δ1198-CFTR channels, and G551D-CFTR channels in excised membrane patches. Like the parent compound, the cyclic derivative irreversibly activated CFTR channels in excised patches during prolonged exposure (>5 min). Our results raise a note of caution about secondary biochemical effects of reactive compounds like curcumin in the treatment of CF. Cyclic curcumin derivatives may have better therapeutic potential in this regard. © 2009 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bernard K; Wang W; Narlawar R; Schmidt B; Kirk KL
  • Start Page

  • 30754
  • End Page

  • 30765
  • Volume

  • 284
  • Issue

  • 45