Thursday, 29 September 2016

Significant inhibitory impact of dibenzyl trisulfide and extracts of Petiveria alliacea on the activities of major drug-metabolizing enzymes in vitro: An assessment of the potential for medicinal plant-drug interactions

2016 Jun;111:138-46. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2016.04.011. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

  • 1Natural Products Institute, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
  • 2University of Technology, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
  • 3Biotech R&D Institute, 44 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica.
  • 4Scientific Research Council, Hope Gardens, Kingston 6, Jamaica.
  • 5Natural Products Institute, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica. Electronic address:


Dibenzyl trisulfide (DTS) is the major active ingredient expressed in Petiveria alliacea L., a shrub widely used for a range of conditions, such as, arthritis, asthma and cancer. Given its use alone and concomitantly with prescription medicines, we undertook to investigate its impact on the activities of important drug metabolizing enzymes, the cytochromes P450 (CYP), a key family of enzymes involved in many adverse drug reactions. DTS and seven standardized extracts from the plant were assessed for their impact on the activities of CYPs 1A2, 2C19, 2C9, 2D6 and 3A4 on a fluorometric assay. DTS revealed significant impact against the activities of CYPs 1A2, 2C19 and 3A4 with IC50 values of 1.9, 4.0 and 3.2μM, respectively, which are equivalent to known standard inhibitors of these enzymes (furafylline, and tranylcypromine), and the most potent interaction with CYP1A2 displayed irreversible enzyme kinetics. The root extract, drawn with 96% ethanol (containing 2.4% DTS), displayed IC50 values of 5.6, 3.9 and 4.2μg/mL respectively, against the same isoforms, CYPs 1A2, 2C19 and 3A4. These investigations identify DTS as a valuable CYP inhibitor and P. alliacea as a candidate plant worthy of clinical trials to confirm the conclusions that extracts yielding high DTS may lead to clinically relevant drug interactions, whilst extracts yielding low levels of DTS, such as aqueous extracts, are unlikely to cause adverse herb-drug interactions.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Adverse drug reactions; Cytochrome P450; DTS; Dibenzyl trisulfide; Drug-herb interaction; Enzyme inhibition; Petiveria alliacea L.