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Biochemical Society transactions

Genistein: a natural isoflavone with a potential for treatment of genetic diseases.


PMID 20298245

Abstract

Genistein [4',5,7-trihydroxyisoflavone or 5,7-dihydroxy-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one] is a natural isoflavone occurring in many plants known to possess various biological activities, ranging from phyto-oestrogenic to antioxidative actions. Recent studies indicated that this isoflavone can also be considered as a drug for as yet untreatable genetic diseases. In the present review, we discuss a plausible use of genistein in treatment of two genetic disorders: CF (cystic fibrosis) and MPS (mucopolysaccharidosis). Although various biological actions of genistein are employed in these two cases, in vitro studies, tests on animal models and pilot clinical trials suggest that this plant-derived compound might be a real hope for patients suffering from severe inherited disorders with relatively complicated pathomechanisms, including those affecting the central nervous system.