The prenylated phenolic natural product isoglycycoumarin is a highly selective probe for human cytochrome P450 2A6

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Prenylated phenolic compounds are an important class of bioactive natural products. One major in vivo metabolic pathway of these compounds is hydroxylation at terminal methyl of the isoprenyl group. This study aims to identify the P450 isozyme catalyzing this metabolic reaction. In human liver microsomes, 16 out of 24 screened compounds could be metabolized into their hydroxylated derivatives. Chemical inhibition assays using 11 isozyme specific inhibitors indicated the hydroxylation reactions of 12 compounds were primarily catalyzed by cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6). In particular, CYP2A6 was the major enzyme participating in the metabolism of isoglycycoumarin (IGCM). The product of IGCM was obtained and identified as licopyranocoumarin (4″-hydroxyl isoglycycoumarin) using NMR spectroscopic analysis. The Km values for human liver microsomes and recombinant human CYP2A6 were 7.98 and 10.14 μM, respectively. According to molecular docking analysis, the catalytic mechanism may involve cyclized isoprenyl group of IGCM entering the active cavity of CYP2A6. These results demonstrate that IGCM could serve as an ideal isozyme selective probe to evaluate CYP2A6 activities.

Graphical abstract

Isoglycycoumarin (IGCM) yields one single metabolite after incubation in CYP2A6 and pooled human liver microsomes.

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