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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Research Article

A Novel Fluorescence-Labeled Curcumin Conjugate: Synthesis, Evaluation and Imaging on Human Cell Lines

Author(s): Sumbla Sheikh*, Alexander Sturzu, Hubert Kalbacher, Thomas Nagele, Christopher Weidenmaier, Marius Horger, Christian Schwentner, Ulrike Ernemann and Stefan Heckl

Volume 24 , Issue 16 , 2018

Page: [1821 - 1826] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1381612824666180406103317

Price: $65


Curcumin, as the main ingredient of the curcuma spice, has increasingly become the target of scientific research. The turmeric root where the spice is obtained from has been widely used in the traditional medicine. Moreover, scientific studies have found that curcumin has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-angiogenic effects as well as antibacterial properties. Recently, curcumin has gathered interest as a potential therapeutic agent in the research on Alzheimer’s disease.

A consistent problem in the investigative and therapeutic applications of curcumin is its poor solubility in aqueous solutions.

In the present study, we synthesized a conjugate of curcumin, the amino acid lysine and the fluorescent dye fluorescein. This conjugate was soluble in cell culture medium and facilitated the examination of curcumin with fluorescence imaging methods.

We studied the cell growth impact of unmodified curcumin on seven different human cell lines and then analyzed the uptake and cellular localization of our curcumin conjugate with confocal laser scanning imaging and flow cytometry on the seven cell lines.

We found that unbound curcumin inhibited cell growth in vitro and was not taken up into the cells. The curcumin conjugate was internalized into the cell cytoplasm in a dot-like pattern and cellular uptake correlated with the cell membrane damage which was measured using propidium iodide.

The CAL-72 osteosarcoma cell exhibited 3-4fold increased conjugate uptake and a strong uniform fluorescein staining in addition to the dot-like pattern observed in all cell lines.

In conclusion, we successfully synthesized a novel water-soluble fluorescent curcumin conjugate which showed a strong preference for CAL-72 osteosarcoma cells in vitro.

Keywords: Curcuma longa, Curcumin, fluorescent conjugate, cytotoxicity, fluorescence imaging, CAL-72 osteosarcoma cells.

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