Curcumin inhibits human cytomegalovirus by downregulating heat shock protein 90.
Mol Med Rep. 2015 Jun 22. Epub 2015 Jun 22. PMID: 26100249
Curcumin is a traditional Chinese medicine extracted from the rhizome of the herb Curcuma longa, which exhibits anti-human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) activity, however, the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. The present study reported that the pharmacogenomics of curcumin are similar to that of the antiviral drug, geldanamycin, which targets heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90). Comparative analysis of 3,000 clinical drugs demonstrated that curcumin had a positive association with the gene expression profiles of several drugs, among which the pharmacogenomics of the antiviral drug, geldanamycin, were most similar to that of curcumin. Molecular docking simulation analysis revealed that curcumin fit well in the binding pocket of Hsp90, with hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interactions and conjugation to maintain adhesion. Consistently, HCMV infection of human embryonic lung fibroblast cells resulted in increased expression of Hsp90α, which was significantlyinhibited by treatment with curcumin. These findings suggested that targeting Hsp90 contributed to the anti‑HCMV activity of curcumin.