Bacterial β-glucuronidases play key roles in the deconjugation of a variety of endogenous and drug glucuronides, thus have been recognized as important targets to modulate the enterohepatic circulation of various glucuronides. In this study, more than 30 natural flavonoids were collected and their inhibitory effects against E. coli β-glucuronidase (EcGUS) were assayed. The results demonstrated that some flavonoids including scutellarein, luteolin, baicalein, quercetin and scutellarin displayed strong to moderate inhibitory effects against EcGUS, with the IC50 values ranging from 5.76 μM to 29.64 μM, while isoflavones and dihydroflavones displayed weak inhibitory effects against EcGUS. Further investigation on inhibition kinetics revealed that scutellarein and luteolin functioned as potent competitive inhibitors against EcGUS-mediated PNPG hydrolysis, with the Ki values less than 3.0 μM. Molecular docking simulations demonstrated that scutellarein and luteolin could be well-docked into the catalytic site of EcGUS, while the binding areas of these two natural inhibitors on EcGUS were highly overlapped with that of PNPG on EcGUS. Additionally, the structure-inhibition relationships of natural flavonoids against EcGUS are also summarized, which will be very helpful for the medicinal chemists to design and develop more potent flavonoid-type inhibitors against EcGUS.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.