Purpose: UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) are responsible for the formation of glucuronides of polyphenolic flavonoids. This study investigated the UGT1A9-mediated glucuronidation of luteolin and the kinetics of luteolin glucuronide efflux.
Method: HeLa cells overexpressing UGT1A9 (HeLa-UGT1A9) were used to determine the kinetics of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP)-mediated transport of luteolin glucuronides. Human UGT isoforms were used to determine glucuronidation rates.
Results: UGT1A9 was found to catalyze the production of four luteolin glucuronides, including three known monoglucuronides and a novel 3', 4'-diglucuronide. Ko143, a potent specific inhibitor of BCRP, significantly inhibited efflux of luteolin monoglucuronides from HeLa1A9 cells and increased their intracellular levels in a dose-dependent manner. The formation of luteolin diglucuronide was observed when intracellular concentration of total monoglucuronides went above 0.07 nM.
Conclusions: Intracellular accumulation of diglucuronide was detected at high monoglucuronide concentrations (>0.07 nM). Diglucuronide production is speculated to be a compensatory pathway for luteolin disposition.