Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester is a Potent Inhibitor of HIF Prolyl Hydroxylase: Structural Analysis and Pharmacological Implication
J Nutr Biochem, 2009 Sep 7
Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active component of propolis from honeybee. We investigated a potential molecular mechanism underlying a CAPE-mediated protective effect against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and analyzed the structure contributing to the CAPE effect.
CAPE induced hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) alpha protein, concomitantly transactivating the HIF-1 target genes vascular endothelial growth factor and heme oxygenase-1, which play a protective role in I/R injury. CAPE delayed the degradation of HIF-1alpha protein in cells, which occurred by inhibition of HIF prolyl hydroxylase (HPH), the key enzyme for von Hippel-Lindau-dependent HIF-1alpha degradation. CAPE inhibition of HPH and induction of HIF-1alpha protein were neutralized by an elevated dose of iron. The catechol moiety, a chelating group, is essential for HPH inhibition, while hydrogenation of the double bond (-CC-) in the Michael reaction acceptor markedly reduced potency. Removal of the phenethyl moiety of CAPE (substitution with the methyl moiety) severely deteriorated its inhibitory activity for HPH.
Our data suggest that a beneficial effect of CAPE on I/R injury may be ascribed to the activation of HIF-1 pathway via inhibition of HPH and reveal that the chelating moiety of CAPE acted as a pharmacophore while the double bond and phenethyl moiety assisted in inhibiting HPH.