Inhibition of 15-lipoxygenases by flavonoids: Structure-activity relations and mode of action

Christian David Sadik, Helmut Sies, Tankred Schewe


We have recently reported that flavonoids of cocoa inhibit the mammalian 15-lipoxygenase-1 - a catalyst of enzymatic lipid peroxidation. To elucidate the structure-activity relationship of the inhibitory effect, we investigated the effects of 18 selected flavonoids of variable structure on pure rabbit reticulocyte and soybean 15-lipoxygenases using linoleic acid as substrate. Moreover, the inhibition by quercetin was studied in detail to gain insight into the mode of action. Quercetin was found to modulate the time-course of the reaction of both lipoxygenases by three distinct effects: (i) prolongation of the lag period, (ii) rapid decrease in the initial rate after the lag phase was overcome, (iii) time-dependent inactivation of the enzyme during reaction but not in the absence of substrate. A comparison of the IC50for the rapid inhibition of rabbit reticulocyte 15-lipoxygenase-1 revealed that (i) the presence of a hydroxyl group in the flavonoid molecule is not essential, (ii) a catechol arrangement reinforces the inhibitory effect, (iii) in the presence of a catechol arrangement the inhibitory potency inversely correlates with the number of hydroxyl groups, (iv) a 2,3-double bond in the C ring strengthens the inhibitory effect. The flavone luteolin turned out to be the most potent inhibitor of the mammalian enzyme with an IC50of 0.6μM followed by baicalein (1μM) and fisetin (1.5μM). © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiochemical Pharmacology
Number of pages9
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Publication date01.03.2003
ISBN (Print)4921181152
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2003


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