Discovery of 5,7-Dimethoxy-2-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenoxy)-chromen-4-one with Lipid Lowering Effects in Hepatocytes

Yi Han Chang, Chia Hung Yen, Chih Chung Lai, Hsuan Yu Lai, Hsin Yi Hung

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The population with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is increasing. However, no medicine is indicated for treating these diseases clinically nowadays. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a new drug to overcome NAFLD and NASH. Capillarisin, a 2-phenoxychromone originating from Artemisia capillaris Thunb., is well-known for its liver-protective effects. As a result, a series of 2-phenoxychromones was prepared and evaluated for its protective activity against lipid droplet formation in oleic acid (OA)-treated Huh7 cells by means of high-content screening. In the light of the results, the compounds with trimethoxy groups on the phenyl ring possessed better inhibitory properties against lipid accumulation in Huh7 cells, compared to other functional groups on the same ring. Nonetheless, the compounds with a hydroxy group at the C-5 position of the chromone exhibited apparent cytotoxicity. Finally, the active compound, 5,7-dimethoxy-2-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenoxy)-chromen-4-one (7e), with an IC50 value of 32.2 ± 2.1 µM against lipid accumulation and no significant cytotoxicity, reduced the accumulation of lipid droplets by up-regulating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (PGC1α) to facilitate the catabolism of fat, which shows promise for further optimization to manage NAFLD and NASH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number449
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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