Inhibition of human estrogen synthetase (aromatase) by flavones

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Science  07 Sep 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4666, pp. 1032-1034
DOI: 10.1126/science.6474163


Several naturally occurring and synthetic flavones were found to inhibit the aromatization of androstenedione and testosterone to estrogens catalyzed by human placental and ovarian microsomes. These flavones include (in order of decreasing potency) 7,8-benzoflavone, chrysin, apigenin, flavone, flavanone, and quercetin; 5,6-benzoflavone was not inhibitory. 7,8-Benzoflavone and chrysin were potent competitive inhibitors and induced spectral changes in the aromatase cytochrome P-450 indicative of substrate displacement. Flavones may thus compete with steroids in their interaction with certain monooxygenases and thereby alter steroid hormone metabolism.

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