Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 516–530 | Cite as

Comparative metabolism of honokiol in mouse, rat, dog, monkey, and human hepatocytes

  • Hyeon-Uk Jeong
  • Ju-Hyun Kim
  • Tae Yeon Kong
  • Won Gu Choi
  • Hye Suk LeeEmail author
Research Article


Honokiol has antitumor, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antithrombotic effects. Here we aimed to identify the metabolic profile of honokiol in mouse, rat, dog, monkey, and human hepatocytes and to characterize the enzymes responsible for the glucuronidation and sulfation of honokiol. Honokiol had a high hepatic extraction ratio in all five species, indicating that it was extensively metabolized. A total of 32 metabolites, including 17 common and 15 different metabolites, produced via glucuronidation, sulfation, and oxidation of honokiol allyl groups were tentatively identified using liquid chromatography–high resolution quadrupole Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Glucuronidation of honokiol to M8 (honokiol-4-glucuronide) and M9 (honokiol-2′-glucuronide) was the predominant metabolic pathway in hepatocytes of all five species; however, interspecies differences between 4- and 2′-glucuronidation of honokiol were observed. UGT1A1, 1A8, 1A9, 2B15, and 2B17 played major roles in M8 formation, whereas UGT1A7 and 1A9 played major roles in M9 formation. Human cDNA-expressed SULT1C4 played a major role in M10 formation (honokiol-2′-sulfate), whereas SULT1A1*1, 1A1*2, and 1A2 played major roles in M11 formation (honokiol-4-sulfate). In conclusion, honokiol metabolism showed interspecies differences.


Honokiol Hepatocytes Comparative metabolism UDP-glucuronosyltransferases Sulfotransferases 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF-2014R1A2A2A01002582) and a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health &Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI12C1852).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The all authors have declared no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyeon-Uk Jeong
    • 1
  • Ju-Hyun Kim
    • 1
  • Tae Yeon Kong
    • 1
  • Won Gu Choi
    • 1
  • Hye Suk Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Drug Metabolism and Bioanalysis Laboratory, College of PharmacyThe Catholic University of KoreaBucheonRepublic of Korea

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