Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Douglas Sweet


Numerous natural products are widely used as first-line/alternative therapeutics and dietary supplements in both western and eastern society. However, the safety and efficacy profiles for herbal products are still limited. Organic anion transporters (OATs; SLC22 family) are expressed in many barrier organs and mediate in vivo body disposition of a broad array of endogenous substances and clinically important drugs. As some dietary flavonoids and phenolic acids were previously demonstrated to interact with OATs, it is necessary to explore the potential interaction of such components found in natural products in order to avoid potential OAT-mediated drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The inhibitory effects of 23 natural products were assessed on the function of human (h) OATs, hOAT1 (SLC22A6), hOAT3 (SLC22A7), and hOAT4 (SLC22A11) and/or the murine (m) orthologs mOat1 and mOat3. For compounds exhibiting marked inhibition at initial screening, dose-response curves (IC50 values) and DDI indices were determined. At the initial screening concentrations, 14, 19, and 2 test compounds exhibited significant inhibition on hOAT1, hOAT3, and hOAT4, respectively. Additionally, all test Danshen (a Chinese herbal medicine) hydrophilic components significantly reduced mOat1- and mOat3-mediated substrate uptake at 1 mM. For selected compounds, the IC50 and Ki values were estimated to be in the micromolar or even nanomolar range. Considering the clinical plasma concentration and unbound fraction in plasma, DDI indices for gallic acid, gentisic acid, lithospermic acid, protocatechuic acid, rosmarinic acid, salvianolic acid B, and tanshinol indicated DDIs may occur in vivo in situations of co-administration of these compounds and clinical therapeutics known to be OAT substrates. Finally, a new, rapid, and sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated to quantify gallic acid and gentisic acid in cell lysates in order to measure cellular uptake of these compounds in mOat1- or mOat3-expressing cells. Significant cellular uptake of gallic acid was observed in mOat1-expressing cells, compared with background control cells. The absorptive uptake was completely blocked by probenecid (known OAT inhibitor) at 1 mM. These results indicate that gallic acid is a substrate for mOat1 and suggest that human OAT1 might be involved in the active renal secretion of gallic acid.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013