Abstract Title:

Stimulation of estradiol glucuronidation: a protective mechanism against estradiol-mediated carcinogenesis?

Abstract Source:

J Gastroenterol. 1999 Feb;34(1):75-82. PMID: 16598814

Abstract Author(s):

Erika Pfeiffer, Eva Graf, Silke Gerstner, Manfred Metzler

Article Affiliation:

Section of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, Department of Chemistry and Biosciences, Institute of Applied Biosciences, University of Karlsruhe, Germany.


17beta-Estradiol (E2) and its catechol and methoxy metabolites are believed to play important roles in the mechanism of E2-mediated tumor formation. Because conjugation with glucuronic acid lowers tissue levels by facilitating excretion, we have determined the kinetic parameters of the glucuronidation of E2, estrone (E1), and seven phase I metabolites using human liver microsomes. The catechol estrogens 2- and 4-hydroxy-E2/E1 exhibited the highest clearance, exceeding that of E2, E1, and the methoxy metabolites by factors of 6-44. Homotropic activation kinetics were observed for the 3-glucuronidation of E2 but not for any of the metabolites. None of the metabolites affected the kinetics of the 3-glucuronidation of E2. In contrast, the isoflavone daidzein stimulated the formation of E2-3-glucuronide, as has been reported previously. This heterotropic activation by daidzein appears to be specific for the glucuronidation of E2 because daidzein did not affect the glucuronidation of the 2- and 4-hydroxy metabolites of E2. However, daidzein may lower the glucuronidation of 2-methoxy-E2 in vivo due to its preferential glucuronidation. The decreased tissue levels of E2 and increased concentrations of 2-methoxy-E2, as implied by this study and the previous one, may contribute to the protective effect of daidzein against breast and endometrial cancer.

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