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Life Sci. 1997;61(7):PL75-80.

Differential effects of flavonoids on testosterone-metabolizing cytochrome P450s.

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Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Flavonoids are widely distributed phytochemicals, whose modulation of cytochrome P450 mediated carcinogen metabolism is well established. Less well studied is their effect on P450 dependent metabolism of endogenous substrates. To address this question we evaluated a series of twelve flavonoids and hematoxylin for their effect on P450-mediated steroid hydroxylation by rat liver microsomes. Site-specific 7alpha-, 6beta- and 2alpha-hydroxylation of testosterone by P450s 2A1, 3A2 and 2C11, respectively, was measured. Highly selective patterns of inhibition or activation of these P450s were observed. 3,6-dichloro-2'-isopropyloxy-4'-methylflavone was the most potent inhibitor of P450 2C11 while cyanidin chloride most potently inhibited P450s 2A1 and 3A2. The flavonoid analogue hematoxylin was unique in that it activated 2C11 (by 2.5 fold) yet inhibited both 2A1 and 3A2 (by 60%). These results indicate that consumption of dietary flavonoids may likewise alter the metabolite profile of steroids and other physiological P450 substrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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