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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Mar 5;208(2):197-202.

Anaerobic C-ring cleavage of genistein and daidzein by Eubacterium ramulus.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Microbiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Bergholz-Rehbr├╝cke, Germany.


Eubacterium ramulus, a flavonoid-degrading anaerobic bacterium from the human gastrointestinal tract, was tested for its ability to transform the isoflavonoids genistein-7-O-glucoside (genistin), genistein and daidzein. Genistein was completely degraded by E. ramulus via 6'-hydroxy-O-desmethylangolensin to 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionic acid. Dihydrogenistein was neither observed as an intermediate in this transformation nor converted itself by growing cells or cell-free extracts of E. ramulus. Genistein-7-O-glucoside was partially transformed by way of genistein to the product 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionic acid. Daidzein was in part degraded to O-desmethylangolensin, the corresponding metabolite to 6'-hydroxy-O-desmethylangolensin. The hydroxyl group in position 6' of O-desmethylangolensin is crucial for further degradation.

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