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

Aromatase inhibition by flavonoids.

Several synthetic flavones were found to inhibit the aromatization of androstenedione to estrone catalyzed by human placental microsomes. Twenty-one compounds were tested and the IC50 of the most active were: flavone, 10 microM; 7-hydroxyflavone, 0.5 microM; 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone, 2.0 microM; flavanone, 8.0 microM; and 4'-hydroxyflavanone, 10 microM. Most of the others had IC50 values ranging from 80 to greater than 200 microM. These findings show that 4'-hydroxylation results in either no change or very little change in IC50 for flavanone, isoflavone and isoflavanone as well as other ring A hydroxylated flavones. Derivatives of flavone with a hydroxyl substituent at position 5, 6 and 7 were also screened. 7-Hydroxyflavone (11) was the most effective competitive inhibitor (IC50 = 0.5 microM) with an apparent Ki value of 0.25 microM. Compound 11 also induced a change in the absorption spectrum of the aromatase cytochrome P-450 which is indicative of substrate displacement. The relative binding affinities of the flavonoid analogs were determined and only ring A adn ring B dihydroxylated analogs were found to bind to the estrogen receptor.[1]


  1. Aromatase inhibition by flavonoids. Ibrahim, A.R., Abul-Hajj, Y.J. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1990) [Pubmed]
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