Main content area

Inhibition of UGT1A1 by natural and synthetic flavonoids

Liu, Xin-Yu, Lv, Xia, Wang, Ping, Ai, Chun-Zhi, Zhou, Qi-Hang, Finel, Moshe, Fan, Bin, Cao, Yun-Feng, Tang, Hui, Ge, Guang-Bo
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.126 pp. 653-661
bilirubin, drugs, fruits, glycosidases, glycosides, humans, kaempferol, medicinal plants, moieties, vegetables
Flavonoids are widely distributed phytochemicals in vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants. Recent studies demonstrate that some natural flavonoids are potent inhibitors of the human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1), a key enzyme in detoxification of endogenous harmful compounds such as bilirubin. In this study, the inhibitory effects of 56 natural and synthetic flavonoids on UGT1A1 were assayed, while the structure–inhibition relationships of flavonoids as UGT1A1 inhibitors were investigated. The results demonstrated that the C-3 and C-7 hydroxyl groups on the flavone skeleton would enhance UGT1A1 inhibition, while flavonoid glycosides displayed weaker inhibitory effects than their corresponding aglycones. Further investigation on inhibition kinetics of two strong flavonoid-type UGT1A1 inhibitors, acacetin and kaempferol, yielded interesting results. Both flavonoids were competitive inhibitors against UGT1A1-mediated NHPN-O-glucuronidation, but were mixed and competitive inhibitors toward UGT1A1-mediated NCHN-O-glucuronidation, respectively. Furthermore, docking simulations showed that the binding areas of NHPN, kaempferol and acacetin on UGT1A1 were highly overlapping, and convergence with the binding area of bilirubin within UGT1A1. In summary, detailed structure-inhibition relationships of flavonoids as UGT1A1 inhibitors were investigated carefully and the findings shed new light on the interactions between flavonoids and UGT1A1, and will contribute considerably to the development of flavonoid-type drugs without strong UGT1A1 inhibition.