Transepithelial transport of p-coumaric acid and gallic acid in Caco-2 cell monolayers

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 Nov;67(11):2317-24. doi: 10.1271/bbb.67.2317.


The transepithelial transport of such common dietary phenolic acids as p-coumaric acid (CA) and gallic acid (GA) across Caco-2 cell monolayers was examined. CA transport was dependent on pH, and in a vectorial manner in the apical-basolateral direction. The permeation was concentration-dependent and saturable, the Michaelis constant and maximum velocity being 17.5 mM and 82.7 nmol min(-1) (mg of protein)(-1), respectively. Benzoic acid and acetic acid inhibited the permeation of CA. These results indicate that the transepithelial transport of CA was via the monocarboxylic acid transporter (MCT). On the other hand, the permeation of GA was not in a polarized manner, was independent of pH and linearly increased with increasing concentration of GA. The transport rate of GA was about 100 times lower than that of CA, suggesting the transepithelial transport of GA to be via the paracellular pathway. Dietary phenolic acids thus showed diversified characteristics in their intestinal absorption.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Colonic Neoplasms
  • Coumaric Acids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Gallic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Propionates


  • Coumaric Acids
  • Propionates
  • Gallic Acid
  • p-coumaric acid