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      Identification of human cytochrome P450 and UGT enzymes involved in the metabolism of ferulic acid, a major bioactive component in traditional Chinese medicines

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          Ferulic acid (FA) is an active component of herbal medicines. One of the best documented activities of FA is its antioxidant property. Moreover, FA exerts antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective effects. However, the metabolic pathways of FA in humans remain unclear. To identify whether human CYP or UGT enzymes are involved in the metabolism of FA, reaction phenotyping of FA was conducted using major CYP-selective chemical inhibitors together with individual CYP and UGT Supersomes. The CYP-and/or UGT-mediated metabolism kinetics were examined simultaneously or individually. Relative activity factor and total normalized rate approaches were used to assess the relative contributions of each major human CYPs towards the FA metabolism. Incubations of FA with human liver microsomes (HLM) displayed NADPH- and UDPGA-dependent metabolism with multiple CYP and UGT isoforms involved. CYPs and UGTs contributed equally to the metabolism of FA in HLM. Although CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 appeared to be the major contributors in the CYP-mediated clearance, their contributions to the overall clearance are still minor (< 25%). As a constitute of many food and herbs, FA poses low drug-drug interaction risk when co-administrated with other herbs or conventional medicines because multiple phase I and phase II enzymes are involved in its metabolism.

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          Ferulic Acid: Therapeutic Potential Through Its Antioxidant Property

          There has been considerable public and scientific interest in the use of phytochemicals derived from dietary components to combat human diseases. They are naturally occurring substances found in plants. Ferulic acid (FA) is a phytochemical commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet corn and rice bran. It arises from metabolism of phenylalanine and tyrosine by Shikimate pathway in plants. It exhibits a wide range of therapeutic effects against various diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative. A wide spectrum of beneficial activity for human health has been advocated for this phenolic compound, at least in part, because of its strong antioxidant activity. FA, a phenolic compound is a strong membrane antioxidant and known to positively affect human health. FA is an effective scavenger of free radicals and it has been approved in certain countries as food additive to prevent lipid peroxidation. It effectively scavenges superoxide anion radical and inhibits the lipid peroxidation. It possesses antioxidant property by virtue of its phenolic hydroxyl group in its structure. The hydroxy and phenoxy groups of FA donate electrons to quench the free radicals. The phenolic radical in turn forms a quinone methide intermediate, which is excreted via the bile. The past few decades have been devoted to intense research on antioxidant property of FA. So, the present review deals with the mechanism of antioxidant property of FA and its possible role in therapeutic usage against various diseases.
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            Ferulic acid: pharmacological and toxicological aspects.

            Ferulic acid (FA) belongs to the family of phenolic acids and is very abundant in fruits and vegetables. Over the past years, several studies have shown that FA acts as a potent antioxidant by scavenging free radicals and enhancing the cell stress response through the up-regulation of cytoprotective systems, e.g. heme oxygenase-1, heat shock protein 70, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and the proto-oncogene Akt. Furthermore, FA was shown to inhibit the expression and/or activity of cytotoxic enzymes, including inducible nitric oxide synthase, caspases and cyclooxygenase-2. Based on this evidence, FA has been proposed as a potential treatment for many disorders including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and skin disease. However, despite the great abundance of preclinical research, only a few studies were carried out in humans, the majority of which used foods containing FA, and therefore the clinical efficacy of this mode of administration needs to be further documented. New efforts and resources are needed in clinical research for the complete evaluation of FA therapeutic potential in chronic diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Ferulic acid: pharmaceutical functions, preparation and applications in foods


                Author and article information

                Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines
                20 September 2017
                : 15
                : 9
                : 695-702
                1State Key Laboratory of Toxicology and Medical Countermeasures, Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Beijing 100850, China
                2Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing 100850, China
                3Department of DMPK, Biogen, USA
                Author notes
                *Corresponding author: LI Hua, Tel: 86-10-88270677, Fax: 86-10-68211656, E-mail: amms_hli@ .

                These authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

                Copyright © 2017 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
                Funded by: Chinese National Science & Technology Major Special Project on Major New Drug Innovation
                Award ID: 2008ZXJ09006001
                Award ID: 2015ZX09J15104
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: 81130067
                This work was supported by Chinese National Science & Technology Major Special Project on Major New Drug Innovation (Nos. 2008ZXJ09006001 and 2015ZX09J15104) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81130067).


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