Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is obtained from the rhizome of the Zingberaceae family and has a long history as an ingredient in cooking. It has been used as a dye and recently research has concentrated on its possible health benefits, specifically because of its antioxidant activity. The principal compound that is responsible for this activity is curcumin, which is present with the other curcuminoids; demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin exhibits fluorescence and its photophysics are markedly affected by the polarity, hydrogen bonding and pH. This provides a means to examine its interaction with proteins, which is important if its potential health role is to be fully investigated. In this work, we monitor the binding kinetics using time-resolved fluorescence measurements, enabled by the use of low dead time electronics coupled with a high repetition rate excitation source and time-resolved emission spectra of the extracted curcuminoids upon interaction with bovine serum albumin. From these measurements the decay-associated spectra of the different lifetime components were obtained, which is consistent with reports of more than one binding site. Monitoring changes in these spectra with increasing temperature also allows for the denaturing of the serum albumin to be inferred.
Lemos, M. A., & Hungerford, G. (2013). The binding of Curcuma longa extract with Bovine Serum Albumin monitored via time-resolved fluorescence. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 89(5), 1071-1078. https://doi.org/10.1111/php.12129