Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.299, No.3, 400-403, 2002
The interaction of quercetin with human serum albumin: a fluorescence spectroscopic study
Quercetin (3,3',4',5,7-pentahydroxyflavone), a ubiquitous, bioactive plant flavonoid, is known to possess anti-cancer, anti-tumor, and other important therapeutic activities of significant potency and low systemic toxicity. In this communication, we report for the first time a study on the interactions of quercetin with the plasma protein human serum albumin (HSA), exploiting the intrinsic fluorescence emission properties of quercetin as a probe. Quercetin is weakly fluorescent in aqueous buffer medium, with an emission maximum at approximate to 538nm. Binding of quercetin with HSA leads to dramatic enhancement in the fluorescence emission intensity and anisotropy (r), along with significant changes in the fluorescence excitation and emission profiles. The excitation spectrum suggests occurrence of efficient Forster type resonance energy transfer (FRET) from the single tryptophan-214 residue of HSA to the protein bound quercetin. The emission, excitation, and anisotropy (r = 0.18 at [HSA] = 30 muM) data (using the native protein) along with emission studies of quercetin using partially denatured HSA (by 8 M urea) indicate that the quercetin molecules bind at a motionally restricted site near tryptophan-214 in the interdomain cleft region of HSA. Furthermore, the binding constant (K = 1.9 x 10(5) M-1) and Gibbs free energy change (DeltaG(0) = -30.12 kJ/mol)) for quercetin-HSA interaction have been calculated from the relevant anisotropy data. Implications of these results are examined, particularly in relation to prospective applications in biomedical research. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.