Genistein, a soy isoflavone, is a potent alpha-glucosidase inhibitor

FEBS Lett. 2001 Jul 13;501(1):84-6. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02631-x.


Genistein is an isoflavone that is known to be contained in soybean. It was proved that genistein plays a pivotal role in homeostasis in the human body. In the course of screening for useful alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, we isolated and identified genistein as a candidate for alpha-glucosidase inhibitor from fermentation broths of a Streptomyces sp. Genistein was shown to be a reversible, slow-binding, non-competitive inhibitor of yeast alpha-glucosidase with a K(i) value of 5.7x10(-8) M when the enzyme mixture was pretreated with genistein. These results show a possibility that genistein could be a useful tool for metabolic disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Dialysis
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Fermentation
  • Genistein / chemistry
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors*
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Isoflavones / chemistry
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Soybeans*
  • Streptomyces / chemistry
  • Yeasts / enzymology
  • alpha-Glucosidases / metabolism


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Isoflavones
  • Genistein
  • alpha-Glucosidases