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FEBS Lett. 2001 Jul 13;501(1):84-6.

Genistein, a soy isoflavone, is a potent alpha-glucosidase inhibitor.

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Biophysical Chemisty Laboratory, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, RIKEN, Hyogo, Japan.


Genistein is an isoflavone that is known to be contained in soybean. It was proved that genistein plays a pivotal role in homeostasis in the human body. In the course of screening for useful alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, we isolated and identified genistein as a candidate for alpha-glucosidase inhibitor from fermentation broths of a Streptomyces sp. Genistein was shown to be a reversible, slow-binding, non-competitive inhibitor of yeast alpha-glucosidase with a K(i) value of 5.7x10(-8) M when the enzyme mixture was pretreated with genistein. These results show a possibility that genistein could be a useful tool for metabolic disorders.

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