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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Natural products isolated from Mexican medicinal plants: novel inhibitors of sulfotransferases, SULT1A1 and SULT2A1.

Calophyllum brasiliense, Lonchocarpus oaxacensis, and Lonchocarpus guatemalensis are used in Latin American folk medicine. Four natural xanthones, an acetylated derivative, and two coumarins were obtained from C. brasiliense. Two flavanones were extracted from L. oaxacensis and one chalcone from L guatemalensis. These compounds were tested as substrates and inhibitors for two recombinant sulfotransferases (SULTs) involved in the metabolism of many endogenous compounds and foreign chemicals. Assays were performed using recombinant phenolsulfotransferase (SULT1A1) and hydroxysteroidsulfotransferase (SULT2A1). Three of the five xanthones, one of the flavonoids and the coumarins tested were substrates for SULT1A1. None of the xanthones or the flavonoids were sulfonated by SULT2A1, whereas the coumarin mammea A/BA was a substrate for this enzyme. The natural xanthones reversibly inhibited SULT1A1 with IC50 values ranging from 1.6 to 7 microM whereas much higher amounts of these compounds were required to inhibit SULT2A1 (IC50 values of 26-204 microM). The flavonoids inhibited SULT1A1 with IC50 values ranging from 9.5 to 101 microM, which compared with amounts needed to inhibit SULT2A1 (IC50 values of 11 to 101 microM). Both coumarins inhibited SULT1A1 with IC50 values of 47 and 185 pM, and SULT2A1 with IC50 values of 16 and 31 microM. The acetylated xanthone did not inhibit either SULT1AI or SULT2A1 activity. Rotenone from a commercial source had potency comparable to that of the flavonoids isolated from Lonchocarpus for inhibiting both SULTs. The potency of this inhibition depends on the position and number of hydroxyls. The results indicate that SULT1A1, but not SULT2A1, is highly sensitive to inhibition by xanthones. Conversely, SULT2A1 is 3-6 times more sensitive to coumarins than SULT1A1. The flavonoids are non-specific inhibitors of the two SULTs. Collectively, the results suggest that these types of natural products have the potential for important pharmacological and toxicological interactions at the level of phase-II metabolism via sulfotransferases.[1]


  1. Natural products isolated from Mexican medicinal plants: novel inhibitors of sulfotransferases, SULT1A1 and SULT2A1. Mesía-Vela, S., Sańchez, R.I., Estrada-Muñiz, E., Alavez-Solano, D., Torres-Sosa, C., Jiménez, M., Estrada, n.u.l.l., Reyes-Chilpa, R., Kauffman, F.C. Phytomedicine (2001) [Pubmed]
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