D2016 Sigma-Aldrich

Biochanin A

Synonym: 4′-Methylgenistein, 5,7-Dihydroxy-4′-methoxyisoflavone, Genistein 4′-methyl ether, Olmelin

  • CAS Number 491-80-5

  • Empirical Formula (Hill Notation) C16H12O5

  • Molecular Weight 284.26

  •  Beilstein/REAXYS Number 278107

  •  EC Number 207-744-7

  •  MDL number MFCD00006839

  •  PubChem Substance ID 24893597

  •  NACRES NA.25



Related Categories Anti-proliferative Agents, Cancer Research, Cell Biology, Chemopreventive Agents, Phytoestrogens More...
Quality Level   100
mp   210-213 °C (lit.)
SMILES string   COc1ccc(cc1)C2=COc3cc(O)cc(O)c3C2=O
InChI   1S/C16H12O5/c1-20-11-4-2-9(3-5-11)12-8-21-14-7-10(17)6-13(18)15(14)16(12)19/h2-8,17-18H,1H3
Gene Information   human ... CYP19A1(1588)
mouse ... Aldh1a2(19378), Maoa(17161)


General description

Biochanin A (BCA) is synthesized in vitro from phloroglucinol. A series of steps involving Friedel−Crafts reaction results in an intermediate product 1-(2,4,6-trihydroxyphenyl)-2-(4 methoxyphenyl) ethanone, which post cyclization leads to BCA. It is catabolized to isoflavone genistein post ingestion.


Biochanin A has been used to evaluate its effect on the ergotamine (ERT)-induced contractility in bovine mesenteric vasculature. It may be used to test its anticancer potential in human glioblastoma cell lines. It has been used as a reference standard in high-performance liquid chromatography−tandem mass spectrometry.

Biochem/physiol Actions

Biochanin A is an isoflavone phytoestrogen found in red clover (Trifolium pratense) that is a selective agonist at ER-β estrogen receptors, and may have chemopreventive efficacy against breast cancer. In line with its low activity at ER-α estrogen receptors, it is essentially devoid of uterotrophic activity. Biochanin A is also a ligand for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). It reduces arterial resistance and enhances microcirculation perhaps via effects on potassium and/or calcium ion channels. Induction of sulfotransferases for xenobiotic detoxification has been proposed as a mechanism of its cancer preventive effects.

Other Notes

Tandem Mass Spectrometry data independently generated by Scripps Center for Metabolomics is available to view or download in PDF. D2016.pdf Tested metabolites are featured on Scripps Center for Metabolomics METLIN Metabolite Database. To learn more, visit

Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

Personal Protective Equipment 
NONH for all modes of transport
WGK Germany 
Flash Point(F) 
Not applicable
Flash Point(C) 
Not applicable


Certificate of Analysis (COA)

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Certificate of Origin (COO)

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Protocols & Articles


Dietary Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect biological systems from oxidative damage produced by oxygen-containing free radicals and from redoxactive transition metal ions such as iron, copper, and cadmium.1 During the oxi...
Biofiles Volume 2 Article 2
Keywords: Adhesion, Anti-inflammatory agents, Applications, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Catalysis, Diabetes, Diseases, Gene expression, Metabolism, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Peroxidations, Phosphorylations, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Reductions, Transcription, Transduction, Vitamins

Peer-Reviewed Papers


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