Prenyl flavonoids are widely distributed in plant foods and have attracted appreciable attention in relation to their potential benefits for human health. Prenylation may enhance the biological functions of flavonoids by introducing hydrophobic properties in their basic structures. Previously, we found that 8-prenyl naringenin exerted a greater preventive effect on muscle atrophy than nonprenylated naringenin in a mouse model. Here, we aimed to estimate the effect of prenylation on the bioavailability of dietary quercetin (Q). The cellular uptake of 8-prenyl quercetin (PQ) and Q in Caco-2 cells and C2C12 myotube cells was examined. Prenylation significantly enhanced the cellular uptake by increasing the lipophilicity in both cell types. In Caco-2 cells, efflux of PQ to the basolateral side was <15% of that of Q, suggesting that prenylation attenuates transport from the intestine to the circulation. After intragastric administration of PQ or Q to mice or rats, the area under the concentration-time curve for PQ in plasma and lymph was 52.5% and 37.5% lower than that of Q, respectively. PQ and its O-methylated form (MePQ) accumulated at much higher amounts than Q and O-methylated Q in the liver (Q: 3400%; MePQ: 7570%) and kidney (Q: 385%; MePQ: 736%) of mice after 18 d of feeding. These data suggest that prenylation enhances the accumulation of Q in tissues during long-term feeding, even though prenylation per se lowers its intestinal absorption from the diet.
Dietary intake of quercetin is suggested to be potentially beneficial for the prevention of various diseases. We examined the effect of alpha-oligoglucosylation of the sugar moiety of quercetin monoglucoside on its bioavailability in humans. Enzymatically modified isoquercitrin (EMIQ) was prepared by enzymatic deglycosylation and the subsequent of alpha-oligoglucosylation of quercetin 3-O-beta-rutinode (rutin). The plasma level of quercetin metabolites was instantly increased by oral intake of EMIQ and its absorption efficiency was significantly higher than that of isoquercitrin (quercetin 3-O-beta-glucoside; Q3G), and rutin. The profile of plasma quercetin metabolites after EMIQ consumption did not differ from that after Q3G consumption. The apparent log P of EMIQ indicated that EMIQ is more hydrophilic than Q3G but less than quercetin 3,4-O-beta-diglucoside. These data indicated that enzymatic alpha-oligoglucosylation to the sugar moiety is effective for enhancing the bioavailability of quercetin glucosides in humans.
Flavonoids have attracted considerable attention in relation to their effects upon health. 8-Prenylnaringenin (8-PN) is found in the common hop (Humulus lupulus) and assumed to be responsible for the health impact of beer consumption. We wanted to clarify the effects of prenylation on the physiological functions of dietary flavonoids by comparing the effects of 8-PN with that of intact naringenin in the prevention of disuse muscle atrophy using a model of denervation in mice. Consumption of 8-PN (but not naringenin) prevented loss of weight in the gastrocnemius muscle further supported by the lack of induction of the protein content of a key ubiquitin ligase involved in muscle atrophy, atrogin-1, and by the activation of Akt phosphorylation. 8-PN content in the gastrocnemius muscle was tenfold higher than that of naringenin. These results suggested that, compared with naringenin, 8-PN was effectively concentrated into skeletal muscle to exert its preventive effects upon disuse muscle atrophy. It is likely that prenylation generates novel functions for 8-PN by enhancing its accumulation into muscle tissue through dietary intake.
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