Abstract Title:

Enzyme inhibition and protein-binding action of the procyanidin-rich french maritime pine bark extract, pycnogenol: effect on xanthine oxidase.

Abstract Source:

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Nov;48(11):5630-9. PMID: 11087530

Abstract Author(s):

H Moini, Q Guo, L Packer

Article Affiliation:

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, 251 Life Sciences Addition, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3200, USA.


Pycnogenol, an extract from French maritime pine bark (PBE), is a complex mixture of bioflavonoids with reported protective effects against disease. PBE is an effective scavenger of reactive oxygen species, and its main constituents are procyanidins of various chain lengths. To find out the biochemical basis of action of PBE on enzyme activity, involvement of its redox activity and direct binding to the enzyme in its subsequent action on enzyme activity have been investigated. PBE dose-dependently inhibited the activities of xanthine oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase, horseradish peroxidase, and lipoxygenase, but it did not affect the activities of glucose oxidase, ascorbate oxidase, or elastase. To characterize the mechanism of PBE action, studies were focused on xanthine oxidase and glucose oxidase. Under non-denaturing conditions, PBE changed the electrophoretic mobility of xanthine oxidase but not of glucose oxidase. Gel filtration chromatography confirmed higher molecular weight complexes of xanthine oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase in the presence of PBE. It was found that hydrophobic bonding might be the dominant mode of interaction between PBE and xanthine oxidase. The importance of the binding in the effect of PBE on enzyme activity was supported by the observation that PBE binds to and inhibits catalase, but not superoxide dismutase. However, no correlation was found between superoxide/hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and the inhibitory effect on xanthine oxidase activity of PBE, various purified flavonoids, or other complex mixtures of bioflavonoids. The results indicate that PBE selectively inhibits xanthine oxidase through binding to the enzyme rather than by the redox activity.

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