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Inhibition of Fatty Acid Synthase by Polyphenols

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Recently, animal fatty acid synthase (FAS) is reported as a potential therapeutic target for obesity and cancer. Considerable interest has been developed in identifying novel inhibitors of the enzyme. It is found that tea polyphenols inhibit FAS in both reversible and irreversible manners. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG) inhibit FAS with IC50 values of 52 μM and 42 μM mainly by reacting on the β-ketoacyl reductase (KR) domain of FAS. The inhibitory ability of catechin gallate (CG) is 15 and 12 folds higher than that of EGCG and ECG. Its major reacting site on FAS is not KR. All of these irreversibly inactivate FAS on the KR domain with similar rates. Mulliken population analysis suggests that the positive charge is distributed on the carbon atom of galloyl ester, and this carbon becomes more susceptible for a nucleophilic attack.

12 flavonoids inhibit FAS with IC50 values ranging from 2 to 112 μM. SAR analysis shows that the flavonoids containing two hydroxyl groups in B ring and 5, 7-hydroxyl groups in A ring with C-2, 3 double bond are the most potent inhibitors. The inhibition kinetics shows that they inhibit FAS competitively with acetyl CoA and most likely react mainly on acyl transferase domain.

Further studies show that C ring of flavonoids is not necessary for the inhibition. Resveratrol, phlorizin and NDGA contain two phenyl rings connected by 2 to 4 atom chains instead of C ring. Their IC50 values range from 5 μM to 40μM. From these results, a common model for polyphenol inhibitor of FAS is conceived.
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Keywords: Fatty acid synthase; cancer; catechins; flavonoids; inhibition; obesity; polyphenols; theaflavins

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biology, Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 3908; Beijing 100049, P.R. China.

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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