Iron binding of 3-hydroxychromone, 5-hydroxychromone, and sulfonated morin: Implications for the antioxidant activity of flavonols with competing metal binding sites

Andrea M. Verdan, Hsiao C. Wang, Carla R. García, William P. Henry, Julia L. Brumaghim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


The iron binding properties and antioxidant activities of compounds with hydroxy-keto binding sites, 3-hydroxychromone, 5-hydroxychromone, and sulfonated morin were investigated. For these compounds, prevention of iron-mediated DNA damage and kinetics of Fe II oxidation were studied in aqueous solutions close to physiological pH (pH 6). 3-Hydroxychromone and sulfonated morin inhibit iron-mediated DNA damage at lower concentrations than 5-hydroxychromone. All three compounds bind iron, but 3-hydroxychromone and sulfonated morin promote Fe II oxidation much faster than 5-hydroxychromone. These results indicate that DNA damage inhibition by flavonols with competing hydroxy-keto binding sites is primarily due to iron binding at the 3-hydroxy-keto site. Iron oxidation rate also plays a significant role in antioxidant activity. In addition to iron binding and oxidation, reactive oxygen species scavenging occurs at high concentrations for the hydroxychromones. This study emphasizes the importance of iron binding in polyphenol antioxidant behavior and provides insights into the iron binding antioxidant activity of similar flavonols such as quercetin and myricetin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1314-1322
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011



  • Antioxidants
  • DNA damage
  • Hydroxychromones
  • Iron
  • Iron binding
  • Sulfonated morin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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