Intended for healthcare professionals
British Skin Foundation

Research outcomes

The tumeric spice derivative, ‘Compound X’, offers hope for topical use in psoriasis 

Dr Kehinde Ross, Liverpool John Moores University. Inhibiting microRNA-21 expression in psoriasis with a curcumin analogue 

Dr Ross’s team examined chemical compounds derived from curcumin, the principal chemical in the spice turmeric. Inflammation in the skin of people with psoriasis is medicated by small molecules known as microRNA-21. The researchers looked at the effect of curcumin-derived chemicals on microRNA-21 produced from keratinocyte skin cells grown in the laboratory. They found that a molecule that they have called ‘compound X’, which is colourless, unlike the cosmetically unacceptable orange-coloured curcumin, reduced levels of microRNA-21. The inference is that this action could reduce inflammation if applied to areas of psoriasis. The researchers are looking at how this discovery might be tested in people with psoriasis and perhaps eventually made available for use as a treatment. 

Dermatology in practice 2018; 24(2): 43–43
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