Send to

Choose Destination
Drug Metab Dispos. 2012 Jun;40(6):1113-21. doi: 10.1124/dmd.112.045013. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Selective agonism of human pregnane X receptor by individual ginkgolides.

Author information

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, 2146 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Ginkgolide A, ginkgolide B, ginkgolide C, and ginkgolide J are structurally related terpene trilactones present in Ginkgo biloba extract. Pregnane X receptor (PXR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) regulate the expression of genes involved in diverse biological functions. In the present study, we investigated the effects of individual ginkgolides as single chemical entities on the function of human PXR (hPXR), human GR (hGR), and human CAR (hCAR). In cell-based reporter gene assays, none of the ginkgolides activated hGR or hCAR (wild-type and its SV23, SV24, and SV25 splice variants). Concentration-response experiments showed that ginkgolide A and ginkgolide B activated hPXR and rat PXR to a greater extent than ginkgolide C, whereas ginkgolide J had no effect. As determined by a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer competitive binding assay, ginkgolide A and ginkgolide B, but not ginkgolide C or ginkgolide J, were shown to bind to the ligand-binding domain of hPXR, consistent with molecular docking data. Compared with tetraethyl 2-(3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyphenyl)ethenyl-1,1-bisphosphonate (SR12813) (a known agonist of hPXR), ginkgolide A and ginkgolide B were considerably less potent in binding to hPXR. These two ginkgolides recruited steroid receptor coactivator-1 to hPXR and increased hPXR target gene (CYP3A4) expression, as assessed by a mammalian two-hybrid assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. In conclusion, the individual ginkgolides regulate the function of nuclear receptors in a receptor-selective and chemical-dependent manner. This study identifies ginkgolide A and ginkgolide B as naturally occurring agonists of hPXR and provides mechanistic insight into the structure-activity relationship in ligand activation of hPXR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center