RNA interference (RNAi) is induced by 21-25 nucleotide, double-stranded small interfering RNA (siRNA), which is incorporated into the RNAi-induced silencing complex (RISC) and is a guide for cleavage of the complementary target mRNA in the cytoplasm. There are many obstacles to in vivo delivery of siRNAs, such as degradation by enzymes in blood, interaction with blood components and non-specific uptake by the cells, which govern biodistribution in the body. In order to achieve the knockdown by siRNAs in vivo, many delivery systems of siRNAs based on physical and pharmaceutical approaches have been proposed. In addition, the immune responses of siRNA must be taken into account when considering the application of siRNAs to in vivo therapy. This review focuses on recent reports about delivery systems and immune responses of siRNAs.
It is widely believed that the UGT1A isoforms, UGT1A8 and -1A10, are expressed exclusively in extrahepatic tissues. In this work, human primary hepatocytes from six donors were analyzed for UGT1A8 and -1A10 mRNA expression by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. New primers to amplify UGT1A8 mRNA were designed and found to differ from those previously published. We demonstrated that UGT1A8 and -1A10 mRNA are expressed in hepatocytes. Although basal UGT mRNA levels were detected in untreated hepatocytes, significant up-regulation of the levels of mRNA for these isoforms were seen after treatment with 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) and rifampicin (Rif). RT-PCR products for all UGTs were sequenced and unambiguously identified as matching the corresponding cDNA. The discovery of these isoforms in hepatocytes is a novel discovery and will stimulate studies on the potential role for these isoforms in hepatic detoxification.
Background: TS-1 is a combination preparation of tegafur, a prodrug of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), with gimeracil, a potent inhibitor of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), which mediates the inactivation of 5-FU. UFT is a combination preparation of tegafur with uracil, which also inhibits DPD, though less potently; UFT has a higher content of tegafur than that in TS-1. We aimed to develop a pharmacokinetic model to describe the kinetics of tegafur and 5-FU after the administration of TS-1 and UFT. Methods: We developed a model incorporating the inhibition of DPD by gimeracil and uracil, and fitted the model to the observed kinetics of tegafur and 5-FU after the administration of TS-1 and UFT. Then, we simulated the plasma 5-FU profiles in patients with renal dysfunction and those after replacement of TS-1 with UFT and compared them with the observed profiles. Results: The developed model could appropriately describe the plasma concentration profiles of 5-FU and tegafur after the administration of TS-1 in patients with normal and impaired renal function. Conclusion: The developed model may be useful to optimize the dosage regimen of TS-1 under various clinical conditions.
It is well recognized that the theophylline (TP) concentration in human tears correlates well with the free TP concentration in human plasma. However this correlation was found only in a very narrow range of concentrations of TP, and pharmacokinetic analysis of TP in tears has not been carried out for a wide range of concentrations of TP. The aims of this investigation were to develop a simple kinetic model for TP in guinea pig plasma (total [Cf+b] and free [Cf]), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) [C]CSF and tears [C]T, and to examine whether [Cf], [Cf+b] and [C]CSF can be predicted from [C]T using the resulting kinetic parameters. [Cf+b], [Cf], [C]CSF and [C]T were determined by GC/EI-SIM following bolus i.v. injection of TP in doses of 10, 50 and 100 mg/kg into guinea pigs. The wide range of concentrations of [Cf+b] could be quantitatively described by a two-compartment model with non-linear elimination kinetics and individual volume distribution of TP at each dose. [C]T and [C]CSF were analyzed using passive diffusion models with and without the pH-partition theory, respectively. The value of [Cf] could be predicted from the value of [C]T. Thus, the measurement of [C]T which can be collected non-invasively would be a useful method for the therapeutic drug monitoring of TP.
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of treatment with the prototypical inducers rifampicin (Rif), dexamethasone (Dex), and omeprazole (Ome) on the mRNA levels of drug-metabolizing enzymes in primary cultures of cryopreserved human, cynomolgus monkey, and rat hepatocytes. Analysis was performed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR using primers and TaqMan probes. Treatment with Ome substantially increased the mRNA levels of both CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 in human hepatocytes, but increased only the mRNA level of CYP1A1 in monkey hepatocytes, whereas it had no marked effect on the mRNA levels of CYP1A1 or CYP1A2 in rat hepatocytes. Treatment with Rif or Dex did not markedly affect the mRNA level of CYP1A in any of the hepatocyte cultures under the conditions used. All three inducers increased the mRNA level of CYP3A8 in monkey hepatocytes (in the order Rif>Dex≥Ome), and a similar profile was observed for the mRNA level of CYP3A4 in human hepatocytes, but the potency of induction was markedly attenuated. In contrast, only Dex substantially increased the mRNA level of CYP3A1 in rat hepatocytes, with Rif and Ome showing no effects. These results indicate that the molecular mechanisms responsible for the regulation of CYP1A2 genes differ between humans and cynomolgus monkeys, although the regulatory mechanisms for CYP1A1 and CYP3A genes are similar.
CYP2C9 is known as an enzyme responsible for the metabolism of various clinically important drugs. Recently, we cloned a cDNA corresponding to a CYP2C9 splicing variant (SV), which seemed to have an open reading frame of a protein with 482 amino acid residues. To investigate whether or not the SV can be translated as a functionally active protein, we expressed the CYP2C9SV in insect cells, and spectrophotometric and enzymatic properties were characterized. The CYP2C9SV protein showed a typical reduced CO-difference spectrum, indicating that the translated protein binds a heme moiety. However, CYP2C9SV did not metabolize tolbutamide or diclofenac at all, suggesting that the SV protein appeared to lack the ability to catalyze reactions mediated by CYP2C9. Although the CYP2C9SV mRNA was detected in all human liver samples examined in this study by real-time PCR, the level was generally low, ranging between 0.7 and 9.6% of the normal CYP2C9 mRNA. These results suggest that the CYP2C9SV protein is unlikely to contribute to CYP2C9 activities, although it appears to be expressed in most individuals.
The HCT-15 human colon cancer cell line has a Na+-dependent carrier-mediated transport system for the uptake of glycerol. A similar transport system has been suggested to be present also in the small intestine and is of interest with regard to its role in the absorption of glycerol and possibly some structurally related compounds. To help clarifying functional characteristics of such glycerol transport systems, we examined the effect of butyrate, an agent known to facilitate the differentiation of cells, on glycerol uptake in HCT-15 cells. The uptake of glycerol (0.4 μM) was found to be about 5-fold greater in HCT-15 cells pretreated with butyrate (2 mM) for 24 h than in those untreated. The increase in the uptake by the butyrate treatment was due to an increase in the maximum transport rate. The effect of butyrate was almost completely suppressed when actinomycin D, an inhibitor of gene transcription, and cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, were added to the medium during the butyrate treatment. These results support the suggestion that a specific carrier protein is involved in glycerol uptake by HCT-15 cells and the carrier protein is one of those inducible by butyrate-induced cell differentiation.
Benidipine, which is a calcium channel blocker that has clinical advantages in the treatment of hypertension, is metabolized by CYP3A4 in humans. The effect of benidipine on the metabolism of simvastatin by human liver microsomes was investigated in order to predict the potential of in vivo drug-drug interactions between benidipine and other substrates of CYP3A4. The results were compared with data generated with azelnidipine, which is also metabolized by CYP3A4. Both benidipine and azelnidipine inhibited simvastatin metabolism in vitro in a concentration-dependent manner. Assuming competitive inhibition, the Ki values based on the unbound concentrations, were calculated to be 0.846 and 0.0181 μM for benidipine and azelnidipine, respectively. If simvastatin (10 mg) and benidipine (8 mg, the clinically recommended highest dose) were to be administered concomitantly, the ratio of the areas under the concentration-time curves of simvastatin with and without benidipine (AUC(+I)/AUC) was predicted to be 1.01. On the other hand, if simvastatin (10 mg) and azelnidipine (8 mg) were co-administered, the AUC(+I)/AUC for simvastatin was predicted to be 1.72, which is close to the observed value (1.9) in healthy volunteers. These data suggest that benidipine is unlikely to cause a drug interaction by inhibiting CYP3A4 activity in the liver.
The aim of this research is to clarify the influence of the viscosity of the nasal formulation on in vivo nasal drug absorption and its mechanism using an in vitro Caco-2 system. The drug solution was made viscous by the addition of dextran (Dex). The disappearance of FITC-labeled Dextran (FD, a marker of the dosing solution) applied with control solution followed monoexponential kinetics, while FD applied with Dex solution showed biexponential elimination. The mean residence time of FD in the nasal cavity was increased with the increase in Dex concentration. The nasal absorption of acyclovir was similar in the formulation with low viscosity, increased in the formulation with moderate viscosity and markedly decreased in the formulation with high viscosity. The result from the normal Caco-2 transport study could not explain the relation of in vivo drug absorption with viscosity, while the modified Caco-2 system provided data partly reflecting the change in in vivo absorption in rats. In conclusion, the residence of the applied solution in the nasal cavity was enhanced by the addition of Dex in a viscosity-dependent manner. Moderate viscosity of the dosing solution improved the in vivo nasal absorption of acyclovir, while higher viscosity decreased it.
Transcriptional factor Nrf2 and its cytosolic reservoir protein Keap1 play important roles in induction of the expression of genes for xenobiotic metabolism and disposition, many of which are involved in protection from oxidative stress. In this study, 5 NFE2L2 (encoding Nrf2) and 6 KEAP1 exons and their flanking introns were comprehensively screened for genetic variations in 84 Japanese subjects. As for NFE2L2, 14 genetic variations were found, including 9 novel ones: 7 were located in the 5′-flanking region, 1 in the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR), 3 (1 synonymous and 2 nonsynonymous) in the coding exons, 1 in the intron, and 2 in the 3′-UTR. Two novel nonsynonymous variations, 697C>T (Pro233Ser) and 1094G>T (Ser365Ile), were heterozygously found with allele frequencies of 0.012 and 0.006, respectively. Regarding KEAP1, 18 genetic variations were detected, including 13 novel ones: 2 were located in the 5′-flanking region, 4 in the coding exons (4 synonymous), 5 in the introns, 4 in the 3′-UTR, and 3 in the 3′-flanking region. Based on the linkage disequilibrium (LD) profiles, both genes were analyzed as single LD blocks, where 14 (NFE2L2) and 18 (KEAP1) haplotypes were inferred. Six (NFE2L2) and 5 (KEAP1) haplotypes were relatively prevalent (≥0.03 frequencies) and accounted for ≥88% of the inferred haplotypes. Haplotype-tagging variations of each gene were identified to capture these prevalent haplotypes. These data would be fundamental and useful information for pharmacogenetic studies on Nrf2-regulated genes for xenobiotic metabolism and disposition.
P450 cytochromes (CYPs) enzymes play a major role in variability of drug response and cancer susceptibility. In particular, up to 60-fold interindividual variation has been detected in the activity of CYP1A2, which is involved in the metabolism of caffeine, several drugs and various toxic and carcinogenic compounds. Aim of this study is to assess the frequency of CYP1A2 F21L and F186L polymorphisms (formerly CYP1A2*2 and *11 alleles), up to now found in Asiatic populations only. These variants were absent in 500 Italian healthy subjects. Therefore it can be suggested that the variation of CYP1A2-dependent metabolism in the Caucasian population is not related to these two CYP1A2 polymorphisms. Thus, this study supports the view that ethnicity is a relevant factor to be carefully considered in pharmacogenetic studies.