Microbial transformation and bioactivation of isoflavones from Pueraria flowers by human intestinal bacterial strains

Ryota Tsuchihashi, Mitsuru Kodera, Seiichi Sakamoto, Yoshijiro Nakajima, Takashi Yamazaki, Yujiro Niiho, Toshihiro Nohara, Junei Kinjo

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The flowers from Pueraria, which are called Puerariae Flos, have been used since ancient times for recovery from alcohol intoxication. We elucidated the microbial transformation of the main isoflavones (1, 1a and 2) by using 29 commercially available human intestinal bacterial strains together with the bioactivation of the hepatoprotective activity of their metabolites. Tectoridin (1a), which contains only one glucosyl moiety, was metabolized to its aglycone 1b by various bacterial strains. On the other hand, the metabolism of 1 and 2, which both have disaccharide groups, was limited to specific bacterial strains. The metabolites 1c and 2c obtained from the Peptostreptococcus productus strain were completely different from those produced by the other strains. These metabolites were identified as 6-hydroxygenistein and 6-hydroxybiochanin A, respectively. The glycosides 1, 1a and 2 did not show any hepatoprotective activity, whereas aglycones 1b and 2b showed moderate activity. Furthermore, the hepatoprotective activity of the demethylated metabolites 1c and 2c was extremely potent. Although not all people have P. productus in their gastrointestinal tract, the O-demethylated compounds might become one of the bioactivated metabolites when Puerariae Flos is administered orally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Natural Medicines
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


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