Identification and characterization of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases responsible for the in-vitro glucuronidation of arctigenin

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This study aimed to characterize the glucuronidation pathway of arctigenin (AR) in human liver microsomes (HLM) and human intestine microsomes (HIM).


HLM and HIM incubation systems were employed to catalyse the formation of AR glucuronide. The glucuronidation activity of commercially recombinant UGT isoforms towards AR was screened. A combination of chemical inhibition assay and kinetic analysis was used to determine the UGT isoforms involved in the glucuronidation of AR in HLM and HIM.

Key findings

AR could be extensively metabolized to one mono-glucuronide in HLM and HIM. The mono-glucuronide was biosynthesized and characterized as 4′-O-glucuronide. UGT1A1, 1A3, 1A7, 1A8, 1A9, 1A10, 2B4, 2B7 and 2B17 participated in the formation of 4′-O-G, while UGT2B17 demonstrated the highest catalytic activity in this biotransformation. Both kinetic analysis and chemical inhibition assays demonstrated that UGT1A9, UGT2B7 and UGT2B17 played important roles in AR-4′-O-glucuronidation in HLM. Furthermore, HIM demonstrated moderate efficiency for AR-4′-O-glucuronidation, implying that AR may undergo a first-pass metabolism during the absorption process.


UGT1A9, UGT2B7 and UGT2B17 were the major isoforms responsible for the 4′-O-glucuronidation of AR in HLM, while UGT2B7 and UGT2B17 were the major contributors to this biotransformation in HIM.

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