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Flavonoids are present in varying concentrations in plant foods and have been reported to have numerous pharmacological activities, such as anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and vasodilator effects. We found that quercetin, fisetin, and some related flavonoid derivatives could inhibit human ether-à-go-go-related gene (hERG) K+ channels. In this study, we tested the effects of a series of flavonoids on the hERG K+ channel expressed in HEK293 cells. For the first time, we demonstrate that quercetin and fisetin (Fise) are potent hERG current blockers. The 50% inhibiting concentration (IC50) and maximum efficacy (Emax) of quercetin were 11.8±0.9μM and 82±2%, while those of fisetin were 38.4±6μM and 100±6%, respectively. Luteolin (Lute) was a less potent inhibitor of hERG current (48±1% at 100μM). Galangin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin (100μM) showed weaker activity on the hERG currents. These results suggest that quercetin, fisetin, and luteolin are potent hERG K+ channel inhibitors and reveal the structure-activity relationship of natural flavonoids. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Xiaorun Sun, Bingyuan Xu, Yucong Xue, Honglin Li, Huiran Zhang, Yuanyuan Zhang, Liying Kang, Xiaolu Zhang, Jianping Zhang, Zhanfeng Jia, Xuan Zhang. Characterization and structure-activity relationship of natural flavonoids as hERG K+ channel modulators. International immunopharmacology. 2017 Apr;45:187-193

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PMID: 28235721

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