Influence of the flavonoids apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin on the function of organic anion transporting polypeptides 1A2 and 2B1

Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Dec 1;80(11):1746-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2010.08.008. Epub 2010 Aug 24.


OATP1A2 and OATP2B1 are uptake transporters of the human organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) family with a broad substrate spectrum including several endogenous compounds as well as drugs such as the antihistaminic drug fexofenadine and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Both transporters are localized in the apical membrane of human enterocytes. Flavonoids, abundantly occurring in plants, have previously been shown to interact with drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters. However, the impact of flavonoids on OATP1A2 and OATP2B1 transport function has not been analyzed in detail. Therefore, HEK293 cell lines stably expressing OATP1A2 and OATP2B1 were used to investigate the influence of the Ginkgo flavonoids apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin on the transport activity of OATP1A2 and OATP2B1. K(i) values of all three flavonoids determined from Dixon plot analyses using BSP as substrate indicated a competitive inhibition with quercetin as the most potent inhibitor of OATP1A2 (22.0μM) and OATP2B1 (8.7μM) followed by kaempferol (OATP1A2: 25.2μM, OATP2B1: 15.1μM) and apigenin (OATP1A2: 32.4μM OATP2B1: 20.8μM). Apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin led to a concentration-dependent decrease of the OATP1A2-mediated fexofenadine transport with IC(50) values of 4.3μM, 12.0μM, and 12.6μM, respectively. The OATP1A2- and OATP2B1-mediated transport of atorvastatin was also efficiently inhibited by apigenin (IC(50) for OATP1A2: 9.3μM, OATP2B1: 13.9μM), kaempferol (IC(50) for OATP1A2: 37.3μM, OATP2B1: 20.7μM) and quercetin (IC(50) for OATP1A2: 13.5μM, OATP2B1: 14.1μM). These data indicate that modification of OATP1A2 and OATP2B1 transport activity by apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin may be a mechanism for food-drug or drug-drug interactions in humans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apigenin / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Kaempferols / physiology*
  • Organic Anion Transporters / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters / physiology*
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / physiology*
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Quercetin / physiology*


  • Kaempferols
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Peptides
  • SLCO1A2 protein, human
  • SLCO2B1 protein, human
  • kaempferol
  • Apigenin
  • Quercetin