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Curcumin potently blocks Kv1.4 potassium channels.

Haiyan Liu, Sanjay J Danthi, John J Enyeart

Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2006 Jun 16 , 344, 1161-5

Curcumin, a major constituent of the spice turmeric, is a nutriceutical compound reported to possess therapeutic properties against a variety of diseases ranging from cancer to cystic fibrosis. In whole-cell patch-clamp experiments on bovine adrenal zona fasciculata (AZF) cells, curcumin reversibly inhibited the Kv1.4K+ current with an IC50 of 4.4 microM and a Hill coefficient of 2.32. Inhibition by curcumin was significantly enhanced by repeated depolarization; however, this agent did not alter the voltage-dependence of steady-state inactivation. Kv1.4 is the first voltage-gated ion channel demonstrated to be inhibited by curcumin. Furthermore, these results identify curcumin as one of the most potent antagonists of these K+ channels identified thus far. It remains to be seen whether any of the therapeutic actions of curcumin might originate with its ability to inhibit Kv1.4 or other voltage-gated K+ channel.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16647042