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

Impairment of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase and glucuronidation activities in liver and small intestine of rat and guinea pig in vitro by piperine.

The effects of piperine, a major ingredient of black pepper, on UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UDP-GDH) and glucuronidation potentials of rat and guinea pig liver and intestine were studied. Piperine caused a concentration-related strong inhibition of UDP-GDH (50% at 10 microM) reversibly and equipotently, in both tissues. Partially purified rat liver UDP-GDH was used to obtain the kinetic values at pH optima of 9.4 and 8. 6. At pH 9.4: KmUDP-glucose = 15 microM, Vmax = 5.2 nmol NADH/min/mg protein, Ki = 6 microM. With NAD, a Ki of 16 microM was obtained. At pH 8.6: Km = 35 microM, Vmax = 7.5 nmol, Ki = 15 microM. In all of these cases, piperine caused non-competitive inhibition. Data from structure-activity comparisons of piperine analogs indicated that the presence of conjugated double bonds in the side chain of the molecule is a factor in piperine inhibition. However, the UDP-glucuronic acid (UDPGA) contents were decreased less effectively by piperine in isolated rat hepatocytes compared with enterocytes of guinea pig small intestine. Piperine at 50 microM caused a marginal decrease of UDPGA in hepatocytes when the rate of glucuronidation of 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (3-OH-BP) decreased by about 40%. The decrease obtained at 10 microM piperine in intestinal cells was comparable to that obtained at 50-100 microM in hepatocytes. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase ( UGT) activities towards 3-OH-BP (UGT1A1) and 4-OH-biphenyl (UGT2B1) were also determined. Piperine did not affect the rate of glucuronidation of 4-OH-biphenyl in rat liver, whereas that of 3-OH-BP was impaired significantly. In guinea pig small intestine, both these activities were inhibited significantly requiring less than 25 microM piperine to produce a more than 50% inhibition of UGT(s). The results suggested that (i) piperine is a potent inhibitor of UDP-GDH, (ii) inhibition is offered exclusively by the conjugated double bonds of the molecule, and (iii) piperine exerts stronger effects on intestinal glucuronidation than in rat liver.[1]


  1. Impairment of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase and glucuronidation activities in liver and small intestine of rat and guinea pig in vitro by piperine. Reen, R.K., Jamwal, D.S., Taneja, S.C., Koul, J.L., Dubey, R.K., Wiebel, F.J., Singh, J. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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