Bioconversion of silybin to phase I and II microbial metabolites with retained antioxidant activity.Bioorg Med Chem. 2012 May 01; 20(9):2784-8.BM
Microbial transformation of silybin (1), the major flavonolignan of milk thistle (Silybum marianum, Asteraceae), resulted in the isolation of four metabolites. The structures of the isolated metabolites were determined by spectroscopic methods. One phase I metabolite was produced by Beauveria bassiana and was characterized as 8-hydroxysilybin (2). Three phase II metabolites were produced by two Cunninghamella species and were identified as 2,3-dehydrosilybin-3-O-β-d-glucoside (3), obtained from Cunninghamella species; and silybin-7-sulfate (4) and 2,3-dehydrosilybin-7-sulfate (5), obtained from Cunninghamella blakesleana. Compared to 1 (IC(50) 284 μg/mL), the generated metabolites displayed varying levels of antioxidant activities in the DPPH free-radical scavenging assay.