Porphyromonas gingivalis is considered a major pathogen of chronic periodontitis, which also may be implicated with systemic diseases such as atherosclerosis. Secreted cysteine proteases, gingipains Rgp and Kgp, are essential for P. gingivalis virulence. Some polyphenols and flavonoids are known to inhibit gingipain activity and interfere with biofilm formation by P. gingivalis. Many bioactive compounds have been isolated from Epimedium species, but availability of these compounds on gingipains and P. gingivalis is still unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate natural products from medical plants to develop a new therapeutic agent against periodontal disease.
Prenylated flavonoids were isolated from Epimedium species plant using column chromatographies. The inhibitory effect of the prenylated flavonoids against protease activity of gingipains were examined using purified gingipains and fluorogenic substrates. Anti-P. gingivalis activity was evaluated to analyze planktonic growth and biofilm formation in brain heart infusion medium in the presence of the prenylated flavonoids.
We isolated 17 prenylated flavonoids (Limonianin, Epimedokoreanin B, etc.) from Epimedium species. We found that some prenylated flavonoids inhibited gingipain activity in a non-competitive manner with Ki values at μm order. The prenylated flavonoids also hindered growth and biofilm formation of P. gingivalis, in a manner independent of gingipain inhibition by the compounds.
The results indicated an inhibitory effect of the prenylated flavonoids against P. gingivalis and would provide useful information for future development of periodontitis treatment that suppresses gingipains, P. gingivalis growth and biofilm formation.