Nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) is a major lignan metabolite found in Larrea spp., which are widely used in South America to treat various diseases. In breast tissue, estradiol is metabolized to the catechol estrogens such as 4-hydroxyestradiol (4-OHE2 ), which have been proposed to be cancer initiators potentially involved in mammary carcinogenesis. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyzes the O-methylation of catechol estrogens to their less toxic methoxy derivatives, such as 4-O-methylestradiol (4-MeOE2 ). The present study investigated the novel biological activities of NDGA in relation to COMT and the effects of COMT inhibition by NDGA on 4-OHE2-induced cyto-and genotoxicity in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Two methoxylated metabolites of NDGA, 3-O-methylNDGA (3-MNDGA) and 4-O-methyl NDGA (4-MNDGA), were identified in the reaction mixture containing human recombinant COMT, NDGA, and cofactors. Km values for the COMT-catalyzed metabolism of NDGA were 2.6 µM and 2.2 µM for 3-MNDGA and 4-MNDGA, respectively. The COMT-catalyzed methylation of 4-OHE2 was inhibited by NDGA at an IC50 of 22.4 µM in a mixed-type mode of inhibition by double reciprocal plot analysis. Molecular docking studies predicted that NDGA would adopt a stable conformation at the COMT active site, mainly owing to the hydrogen bond network. NDGA is likely both a substrate for and an inhibitor of COMT. Comet and apurinic/apyrimidinic site quantitation assays, cell death, and apoptosis in MCF-7 cells showed that NDGA decreased COMT-mediated formation of 4-MeOE2 and increased 4-OHE2-induced DNA damage and cytotoxicity. Thus, NDGA has the potential to reduce COMT activity in mammary tissues and prevent the inactivation of mutagenic estradiol metabolites, thereby increasing catechol estrogen-induced genotoxicities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants (2019R1A2C1003497) from the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded through the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future, Korea.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry