Methylxanthine Drugs Are Human Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitors

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Methylxanthine Drugs Are Human Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitors

Methylxanthines such as caffeine, theobromine and theophylline are intensively consumed as food components by large proportion of human population all over the world. This class of compounds show various biological activities and have been found to act as broad specificity inhibitors towards numerous enzymes. However, their action on digestive enzymes have not been yet investigated. In this paper we aimed to evaluate the effects of methylxanthines on the human pancreatic lipase activity in vitro. Emulsions of short- and long-chain triglycerides (tributyrin and tripalmitate, respectively) were used as substrates. The concentrations of methylxanthines in the reaction mixtures covered the range between 0.015 mmol/L to 15 mmol/L. We demonstrated that all three tested substances, caffeine, theophylline and theobromine inhibited the hydrolysis of tributyrin and tripalmitate catalysed by human pancreatic lipase in dose-dependent fashion. The highest lipase inhibition ratios during tripalmitate and tributyrin hydrolysis were 25.74% and 79.54% respectively in the presence of caffeine, 29.89% and 62.79% respectively with theophylline and 21.08% and 67.74% respectively in the presence of theobromine. All the tested methylxanthines exert stronger inhibition in the short-chain triglyceride lipolysis comparing to long-chain substrates. Their mechanism of action involves most likely the interaction with enzyme protein but not substrate emulgation. In case of tripalmitate lipolysis all the methylxanthines showed mixed type of inhibition. Interestingly, during tributyrin lipolysis theophylline behaved as classical noncompetitive inhibitor.

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