Quercetin Activate Proteins Important for Human Brain and Heart Health

New study reveals how a compound found in capers regulates proteins that control important bodily processes


Date: 日期:July 13, 2020 2020年7月13日Source: 来源:University of California – Irvine 加州大学欧文分校Summary: 摘要:A compound commonly found in pickled capers has been shown to activate proteins required for normal human brain and heart activity, and may even lead to future therapies for the treatment of epilepsy and abnormal heart rhythms. 一种常见于腌制刺山柑中的化合物已被证明可以激活正常人类大脑和心脏活动所需的蛋白质,甚至可能导致未来治疗癫痫和异常心律的疗法

A compound commonly found in pickled capers has been shown to activate proteins required for normal human brain and heart activity, and may even lead to future therapies for the treatment of epilepsy and abnormal heart rhythms.


Researchers from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine have discovered that a compound named quercetin, commonly consumed when eating capers, can directly regulate proteins required for bodily processes such as the heartbeat, thought, muscular contraction, and normal functioning of the thyroid, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract.


Published in Communications Biology, the discovery was made by the laboratory of Geoffrey Abbott, PhD, a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Kaitlyn Redford, a graduate student in the Abbott Lab, was first author of the study titled, “The ubiquitous flavonoid quercetin is an atypical KCNQ potassium channel activator.”

发表在《通信生物学》杂志上的这一发现是由加州大学欧文分校医学院生理学和生物物理学系教授杰弗里 · 阿博特博士的实验室完成的。凯特琳 · 雷德福是雅培实验室的一名研究生,她是这项研究的第一作者,题为“无处不在的黄酮类槲皮素是一种非典型的 KCNQ 钾离子通道激活剂。”

The Abbott Lab found that quercetin, a plant-derived bioflavonoid, modulates potassium ion channels in the KCNQ gene family. These channels are highly influential in human health and their dysfunction is linked to several common human diseases, including diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, and epilepsy.

雅培实验室发现槲皮素,一种植物衍生的生物类黄酮,调节 KCNQ 基因家族中的钾离子通道。这些通道对人类健康有很大的影响,它们的功能障碍与几种常见的人类疾病有关,包括糖尿病、心律不整和癫痫。

The study revealed that quercetin modulates the KCNQ channels by directly regulating how they sense electrical activity in the cell, suggesting a previously unexpected mechanism for the therapeutic properties of capers. The mechanism may extend to other quercetin-rich foods in our diet, and quercetin-based nutritional supplements.

这项研究表明,槲皮素通过直接调节 KCNQ 通道对细胞电活动的感知来调节 KCNQ 通道,这提示了一个以前没有预料到的刺山柑治疗特性的机制。这一机制可能延伸到我们饮食中富含槲皮素的其他食物,以及以槲皮素为基础的营养补充剂。

“Now that we understand how quercetin controls KCNQ channels,” said Abbott, “future medicinal chemistry studies can be pursued to create and optimize quercetin-related small molecules for potential use as therapeutic drugs.”

“现在我们了解了槲皮素是如何控制 KCNQ 通道的,” Abbott 说,“未来的药物化学研究可以继续进行,以创造和优化槲皮素相关的小分子,用作潜在的治疗药物。”

The Abbott Lab screened plant extracts for the ability to alter activity of KCNQ channels and found that one percent extract of pickled capers activated channels important for normal human brain and heart activity. Further studies revealed the molecular mechanism — quercetin from the caper extract binds to a region of the KCNQ channel required for responding to electrical activity, and in doing so, tricks the channel into opening when it would normally be closed.

雅培实验室筛选了能够改变 KCNQ 通道活性的植物提取物,发现百分之一的腌制刺山柑提取物能够激活对正常人类大脑和心脏活动重要的通道。进一步的研究揭示了分子机制—- 槲皮素从提取物结合到 KCNQ 通道的一个区域,该区域需要对电活动做出反应,这样做,欺骗通道进入开放时,它通常是关闭的。

“Increasing the activity of KCNQ channels in different parts of the body is potentially highly beneficial,” said Abbott. “Synthetic drugs that do this have been used to treat epilepsy and show promise in preventing abnormal heart rhythms.”

“增加 KCNQ 通道在身体不同部位的活性可能是非常有益的,”雅培说。“这样做的合成药物已用于治疗癫痫,并显示出预防心律异常的希望。”

Archaeological evidence for human caper consumption dates back as far as 10,000 years, according to archaeological findings from Mesolithic soil deposits in Syria and late Stone Age cave dwellings in the Greece and Israel. Capers have traditional been used as folk medicine for hundreds if not thousands of years and are in current use or study for their potential as anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties, and their possible circulatory and gastrointestinal benefits.


This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.



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