Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2001 Sep;78(3):291-8.

Estrogen-like activity of glabrene and other constituents isolated from licorice root.

Author information

Laboratory of Natural Compounds for Medicinal Use, Migal-Galilee Technological Center, 10200, Kiryat Shmona, Israel.


Licorice root extract and its major isoflavan, glabridin, exhibited varying degrees of estrogen receptor (ER) agonism in different tissues in vitro and in vivo. Animals fed with licorice extract, compared with estradiol and glabridin, showed an increase in creatine kinase (CK) activity, a known marker for estrogen responsive genes, which was higher than expected from the levels of glabridin in the extract. This led us to test for other components that may contribute to this strong estrogen agonist activity. Results indicated that glabrene and isoliquiritigenin, (2',4',4-three hydroxy chalcone) (ILC) in the licorice extract can bind to the human ER with higher affinity (IC50, 1 and 0.5 microM) than glabridin (IC50, 5 microM). The stimulatory effects of glabrene in vivo were tissue specific and similar to those of estradiol. The effect of increasing concentrations of glabrene and ILC on the growth of breast tumor cell were biphasic. Both showed an ER-dependent growth-promoting effect at low concentrations (10 nM-10 microM), and ER-independent antiproliferative activity at concentrations >15 microM. This is the first study to indicate that glabrene, an isoflavene exerted varying degrees of ER agonism in different tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center