Psoralidin, a coumestan analogue, as a novel potent estrogen receptor signaling molecule isolated from Psoralea corylifolia

Xiyuan Liu, Joo Won Nam, Yun Seon Song, Ambily Nath Indu Viswanath, Ae Nim Pae, Yun Seo Kil, Hee Doo Kim, Jong Hoon Park, Eun Kyoung Seo, Minsun Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A novel biological activity of psoralidin as an agonist for both estrogen receptor (ER)α and ERβ agonist has been demonstrated in our study. Psoralidin has been characterized as a full ER agonist, which activates the classical ER-signaling pathway in both ER-positive human breast and endometrial cell lines as well as non-human cultured cells transiently expressing either ERα or ERβ. The estrogenic activity was determined using the relative expression levels of either reporter or the endogenous genes dependent on the agonist-bound ER to the estrogen response element (ERE). Psoralidin at 10 μM was able to induce the maximum reporter gene expression corresponding to that of E2-treated cells and such activation of the ERE-reporter gene by psoralidin was completely abolished by the cotreatment of a pure ER antagonist, implying that the biological activities of psoralidin are mediated by ER. Psoralidin was also able to induce the endogenous estrogen-responsive gene, pS2, in human breast cancer cells MCF-7. It was observed that activation of the classical ER-signaling pathway by psoralidin is mediated via induction of ER conformation by psoralidin and direct binding of the psoralidin-ER complex to the EREs present in the promoter region of estrogen-responsive genes, as shown by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay results. Finally, molecular docking of psoralidin to the ligand binding pocket of the ERα showed that psoralidin is able to mimic the binding interactions of E2, and thus, it could act as an ER agonist in the cellular environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1406
Number of pages4
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • Estrogen receptor
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Phytoestrogen
  • Psoralea corylifolia
  • Psoralidin


Dive into the research topics of 'Psoralidin, a coumestan analogue, as a novel potent estrogen receptor signaling molecule isolated from Psoralea corylifolia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this