Curcumin is one of my favorite food, herbs and supplements. This is one of many studies that show benefits of curcumin. The below is posted here for educational purposes.
Curcumin Prevents Aggregation in α-Synuclein by Increasing Reconfiguration Rate
Basir Ahmad and Lisa J. Lapidus1
Background: α-Synuclein is an aggregation-prone protein that reconfigures more slowly under aggregating conditions.
Results: Curcumin binds to monomeric α-synuclein, prevents aggregation, and increases the reconfiguration rate, particularly at high temperatures.
Conclusion: Curcumin rescues the protein from aggregation by making the protein more diffusive.
Significance: The search for aggregation inhibitors should account for changes in chain dynamics by the small molecule.
α-Synuclein is a protein that is intrinsically disordered in vitro and prone to aggregation, particularly at high temperatures. In this work, we examined the ability of curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, to prevent aggregation of the protein. We found strong binding of curcumin to α-synuclein in the hydrophobic non-amyloid-β component region and complete inhibition of oligomers or fibrils. We also found that the reconfiguration rate within the unfolded protein was significantly increased at high temperatures. We conclude that α-synuclein is prone to aggregation because its reconfiguration rate is slow enough to expose hydrophobic residues on the same time scale that bimolecular association occurs. Curcumin rescues the protein from aggregation by increasing the reconfiguration rate into a faster regime.