Human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1 is the enzyme that detoxifies neurotoxic bilirubin by conjugating it with glucuronic acid. UGT1A1 also plays a critical role in the detoxification and excretion of endogenous and exogenous lipophilic compounds mainly in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Impaired or reduced UGT1A1 activity causes unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia (Gilbert's syndrome and Crigler-Najjar syndrome) and side effects of drug treatment such as SN-38 (active metabolite of the anticancer drug irinotecan)-induced toxicity. Understanding the regulatory mechanism of human UGT1A1 expression is critical in treating patients with unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and for effective drug treatment. We identified the distal enhancer module of the UGT1A1 gene and a single nucleotide polymorphism in it that significantly reduces the transcriptional activity associated with the manifestation of Gilbert's syndrome. This review describes the transcriptional regulation of the human UGT1A1 gene by transcription factors and their co-factors, the genetic polymorphism associated with reduced transcriptional activity, and the induction of UGT1A1 expression by non-genetic factors including environmental factors and its pharmacological and toxicological meaning.
The aim was to compare cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) genotype and enzyme activity between Swedes and Koreans, and to investigate the influence of genotype, sex, age, cigarette smoking and oral contraceptive (OC) use on enzyme activity. The study involved 190 Swedes and 144 Koreans. Genotyping for CYP2A6*1B, *1 × 2, *4, *5, *7, *8, *9, *10, *18 and *19 alleles was done. Using caffeine as a probe, in vivo CYP2A6 activity was estimated by the 17U/17X urinary ratio. Multiple regression analysis indicated ethnicity (p = 0.0001) and CYP2A6 genotype (p = 0.006), but not sex, age, cigarette smoking or OC use as predictors of CYP2A6 activity. There were significant differences in CYP2A6 genotype distribution and enzyme activity between Swedes and Koreans. Functional CYP2A6 alleles and rapid genotypes were more frequent in Swedes, whereas the defective alleles and slow genotypes were more frequent in Koreans (p ≤ 0.0001). Distribution of log 17U/17X was bimodal in Koreans but unimodal in Swedes with a common antimode at 0.01, classifying 3.16% of Swedes and 18.75% of Koreans as slow metabolizers. CYP2A6 activity was higher in Swedes compared to Koreans (p < 0.0001), even among carriers of rapid genotypes. We report major differences in CYP2A6 enzyme activity between Swedes and Koreans mainly due to CYP2A6 genetic variation but not exclusively.
Conflicting results have been reported on segmental differences in expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) along the small intestine of animals and humans. In this study, we investigated P-gp mRNA and protein levels within each of nine segments of rat small intestine. In addition, P-gp activity in each segment was evaluated in terms of permeability of rhodamine123 (Rho123), a typical P-gp substrate, using the serial intestinal non-everted sac method. The P-gp mRNA levels tended to increase from the duodenum to the ileum, with peaks in the upper and lower ileum, while P-gp protein level reached its maximum in the middle ileum. The activity of P-gp was also the highest in the middle ileum, and was highly correlated with P-gp protein level. The double-peaked plasma concentration profile that was observed following oral administration of Rho123 to rats could be well reproduced by an intestinal compartmental kinetic model incorporating inter-segmental differences of absorption and excretion rate constants. Our results suggest that the heterogeneous distribution of P-gp along the small intestine plays a key role in causing the double-peak of plasma concentration of P-gp substrates following oral administration to rats.
Pitavastatin undergoes little hepatic metabolism but it is a substrate for uptake and efflux transporters, particularly OATP1B1 (gene SLCO1B1). A previous study in 8 Japanese healthy subjects showed that co-administration with grapefruit juice (GFJ) resulted in a small increase in systemic exposure to pitavastatin. We examined whether common polymorphisms in SLCO1B1 might influence the pharmacokinetics of pitavastatin or the interaction with GFJ. Twelve Chinese healthy male volunteers took pitavastatin 2 mg orally with water or with GFJ on separate occasions and plasma concentrations of pitavastatin acid and lactone were measured over 48 h. GFJ increased the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC0–48h) for both pitavastatin acid and lactone by 14% (p < 0.05). Subjects with SLCO1B1 *1b/*1b haplotype (388GG-521TT) had 47% and 44% higher systemic exposure for pitavastatin acid and lactone than the SLCO1B1 *1a carriers (388AA/AG-521TT, p < 0.05 and p = 0.005, respectively). The SLCO1B1 388A>G polymorphism, which increases transporter activity for some statins, was associated with higher plasma levels of pitavastatin acid and lactone in subjects with the homozygous variant indicating decreased hepatic uptake. Co-administration of pitavastatin with GFJ resulted in a small but significant increase in plasma levels in healthy Chinese subjects.
Measurement of inosine-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) activity or gene expression was used as a further approach in pharmacokinetics (PK)/pharmacodynamic (PD)-guided mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) therapy. Forty-four de novo kidney transplant patients were enrolled; 35 of these completed the study, and were followed for 24 weeks for clinical status, PK parameters, IMPDH activity and IMPDH1/2 gene expression. IMPDH activity and expression were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells before transplant and at week 2,4,12 and 24, drawn before (t0) and 2 h (t2h) after MMF administration. No significant correlation was found between IMPDH activity/expression and PK parameters. For both genes, significant enhancement in t2h expression was observed, then decreases towards week 24 with a trend following steroid dosages. Seven patients experienced acute rejection (AR) and exhibited significantly higher pre-transplant expression of both IMPDH1 (median 3.42 vs. 0.84; p = 0.0025), and IMPDH2 genes (135 vs. 104; p = 0.0218) with respect to non-rejecting patients. A significant association was also found between pre-transplant IMPDH1 mRNA and haematological complications (p = 0.032). This study suggests that high steroid dosages may influence IMPDH1/2 expression, hampering their use as a PD biomarker, particularly during the early post-transplant period. The measurement of pre-transplant levels of IMPDH1/2 may contribute to prediction of individual drug responsiveness to improve the clinical management of patients in MMF therapy.
We recently reported that, compared to loxoprofen (LOX, an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), the LOX derivative fluoro-loxoprofen (F-LOX) is less ulcerogenic but has similar anti-inflammatory activity. Our previous in vitro studies suggested that both LOX and F-LOX are pro-drugs, the active metabolites of which are their trans-alcohol forms. In this study, we compared the pharmacokinetics of F-LOX and LOX in rats. Overall, the pharmacokinetic characteristics of F-LOX, including the formation of metabolites in vivo and in vitro, were comparable to those of LOX. However, F-LOX disappeared from the plasma more rapidly than LOX, which could potentially explain its lower ulcerogenicity. However, we showed that F-LOX produced fewer gastric lesions than LOX, even when a higher plasma concentration of F-LOX was maintained. Similar to LOX, F-LOX was readily metabolized to its trans- and cis-alcohol forms, with a higher level of the trans-alcohol form being observed after oral or intravenous administration of the drug. The preferential formation of the trans-alcohol form was also observed after incubation of F-LOX with rat liver homogenates in vitro. These results suggest that, similar to LOX, F-LOX acts as a pro-drug and that there is a metabolic system that selectively produces its active metabolite.
This study aims to establish an in vitro system that can assess intestinal first-pass metabolism of CYP3A4 substrate drugs using adenoviral transduction. Madin-Darby canine kidney II (MDCKII) cells were used as a model of intestinal epithelial cells. Recombinant adenovirus expressing green fluorescent protein (AdGFP) and CYP3A4 (AdCYP3A4) was used as vectors. On day 2 after seeding MDCKII cells onto a semipermeable membrane, cells were infected with each adenovirus vector at various MOIs (multiplicities of infection) ranging from 0 to 200. On day 5, cell monolayers were used for drug transport study. The expression of GFP in monolayers of MDCKII cells transduced with AdGFP increased MOI-dependently and adenoviral infection showed no effect on the membrane permeability of drugs. The metabolite formation rate of midazolam, a CYP3A4 substrate, in the permeation process of a monolayer linearly increased with an increase in the MOI of AdCYP3A4. When the period that vectors and cells were located adjacent to each other was prolonged, the rate increased 2-fold compared with that calculated from a result with a monolayer obtained from a shorter period of adjacency. This study indicates that monolayers of MDCKII cells transduced with AdCYP3A4 have the potential to enable estimation of the first-pass metabolism by CYP3A4 in the intestinal absorption process.
The aim of this study was to reveal the contribution of CYP4F2, CYP2C9, and VKORC1 genetic polymorphisms on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of warfarin in Japanese pediatric patients. Genetic analyses of CYP4F2 (rs2108622), CYP2C9 (*2 and *3), and VKORC1 (−1639G > A) were performed, and plasma unbound warfarin, vitamin K1 (VK1), and menaquinone-4 (MK-4) concentrations were determined in 37 Japanese pediatric patients. The patients with CYP4F2 variant alleles C/T and T/T scored significantly lower values for the warfarin sensitivity index (INR/Cpss) and had significantly higher plasma concentrations of MK-4 than patients with the CYP4F2 allele C/C. Moreover, the plasma MK-4 concentration was negatively correlated with the warfarin sensitivity index. In contrast, the VKORC1 genetic polymorphism did not influence the warfarin sensitivity index. In patients with the CYP2C9 *3 allele, the unbound oral clearance values (normalized to body surface area) for S-warfarin were found to be significantly lower than in patients with the wild-type allele. In conclusion, CYP4F2 genetic polymorphism and plasma MK-4 concentration influence the pharmacodynamics of warfarin, suggesting a mechanism though which CYP4F2 genotype affects warfarin dose.
It has been suggested that P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the product of multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene, regulates the brain entry of various xenobiotics. Impaired function of P-gp may be associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of a MDR1 C3435T polymorphism on PD risk alone or in combination with environmental factors. A total of 238 patients with PD and 368 controls were genotyped for the MDR1 C3435T polymorphism. Subjects with the TT genotype of the C3435T polymorphism showed a nonsignificantly increased risk of PD [odds ratio (OR) = 1.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.85–2.25] compared with those with the CC genotype. A gene-environment interaction was suggested, with a combination of at least one T allele and ever drinking conferring significantly higher risk (OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.07–3.15, p = 0.029), compared with the CC genotype and never drinking. No significant interaction of smoking or occupational pesticide use with the C3435T polymorphism was observed. Our results suggest that the C3435T polymorphism may not play an important role in PD susceptibility in Japanese. Evidence of an interaction between the C3435T polymorphism and alcohol consumption was suggested.
Ritonavir dramatically increases the bioavailability of a variety of concurrently administered drugs by inhibition of metabolic enzymes and drug transporters. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which ritonavir's inhibition of drug transporters and/or CYP3A contributes to the increased oral bioavailability in mice. The area under the plasma concentration-time curves (AUC) for orally administered saquinavir after coadministration with 50 mg/kg ritonavir dramatically increased (325-fold). As a result, the bioavailability, Fa·Fg and Fh increased 75-, 38- and twofold, respectively. In addition, the increase in the AUC predicted from the in vitro Ki value was ninefold, which was derived from the inhibition of metabolic enzymes by ritonavir in the liver. The remaining 36-fold increase in the AUC was considered to be derived from the inhibition in the small intestine. The AUCinf for probe substrate midazolam, fexofenadine, and pravastatin increased after the oral administration of ritonavir by only five-, 13-, and sevenfold, respectively. Moreover, the AUC0–12 for saquinavir was affected negligibly by itraconazole. These results indicate ritonavir mainly affects the first-pass effect of saquinavir in the small intestine, increasing the bioavailability of orally administered saquinavir. Furthermore, cyp isoforms other than CYP3A, which contribute to the metabolism of saquinavir in humans, are involved in the metabolism of saquinavir in mice.
Urate is mainly excreted into urine in humans. Serum urate level is regulated by a urate transport system located on the renal proximal tubule. Urate transporter 1 (URAT1) is located on the apical side of the renal proximal tubule and is responsible for the reabsorption of urate from the luminal side into tubular cells. At the same site, it has been hypothesized that sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporters (SMCTs) are responsible for the transportation of monocarboxylates such as lactate and nicotinate, which are exchanged for urate transport via URAT1. Accordingly, SMCTs could enhance URAT1-mediated urate reabsorption by providing monocarboxylates for the exchange. The present study was carried out to clarify the hypothesized functional cooperative relationship between URAT1 and SMCTs in the reabsorptive transport of urate. By preloading nicotinate in SMCT1/URAT1-coexpressing Xenopus oocytes, URAT1-mediated urate transport was stimulated. Nicotinate was taken up by SMCT1 but not by URAT1. When removing sodium ions from the uptake medium, the stimulation effect was decreased. When adding SMCT1 inhibitors, the stimulation effect was also reduced. The results from this study indicate the cooperative relationship of URAT1 and SMCT1, and that SMCT1 is a potential target for the alteration of renal handling of urate indirectly.
The mechanism of cancer cell death induced by KP018, an ethanol extract of the Thai plant Ellipeiopsis cherrevensis, was examined in paclitaxel-resistant HepG2 (PR-HepG2) and colon-26 cells using flow cytometry. In PR-HepG2 cells, KP018 induced necrosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Necrosis of PR-HepG2 cells induced by KP018 as well as by hydrogen peroxide was suppressed by co-treatment of the cells with N-acetylcysteine. KP018 decreased the viability of colon-26 cells with an IC50 value of 15.1 µg/mL, which was estimated by XTT assay. As observed in PR-HepG2 cells, KP018 induced necrosis and the necrosis was suppressed by N-acetylcysteine in colon-26 cells. In addition, using colon-26 solid tumor-bearing mice, KP018 was found to suppress tumor growth without apparent toxicities under in vivo conditions. These results indicate that KP018 induces necrosis rather than apoptosis in these cancer cells, and reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide would be involved in KP018-induced necrosis. KP018 may be a useful source to search for a new anticancer drug that can be used for the chemotherapy of multidrug-resistant tumors.
Methotrexate (MTX) exhibits large inter-individual and inter-ethnic differences in the dose required for its anti-rheumatic effect. To maintain low disease activity, patients may require increased MTX doses or co-administration of biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs). The availability of a marker predicting the effect of MTX will make it possible to increase the MTX dose and prescribe bDMARDs to patients at an early stage. To establish individualized medication for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we investigated genetic polymorphisms of the folate pathway in Japanese RA patients. Eighty-nine patients were treated with MTX alone (MTX group). MTX and bDMARDs were co-administered to 81 patients because of insufficient MTX efficacy (MTX + bDMARDs group); an equally stable therapeutic effect was achieved in both groups. Polymorphism analyses using bDMARD co-treatment as the objective variable revealed a significant association between age and the G80A polymorphism of the reduced folate carrier 1 gene (RFC1) as an explanatory variable. Compared to patients with the A allele, patients with the G allele may have less intracellular MTX uptake and, therefore, poor efficacy; a greater number of them were found to be bDMARD concomitant cases. The results of this study suggest that the RFC1 G80A polymorphism may be a useful marker for predicting MTX efficacy in Japanese patients with RA.
Several nuclear receptors are being increasingly recognized for their role as master xenosensors. Among them, CAR-RXRα heterodimer, as encoded by NR1I3 and NR2B1, responds to the presence of drug compounds and regulates the transcription of a wide array of genes involved in their disposition. To investigate the frequency distribution and linkage disequilibrium patterns of NR1I3 and NR2B1 genetic variations, these genes were screened in 168 healthy local Asian subjects, namely Chinese, Malays, and Indians (n = 56 subjects each). A total of 38 and 88 SNPs were identified in NR1I3 and NR2B1, respectively. Among them, there were 13 and 43 novel SNPs present at low allelic frequencies (<10%) in NR1I3 and NR2B1, respectively. Notably, the genetic variations in the NR1I3 and NR2B1 genes were mainly confined to the introns whilst the exons were highly conserved across the ethnic populations. Indians harboured distinct frequency distributions from Chinese and Malays in both genes. Based on the linkage disequilibrium patterns of both genes, a number of tag-SNPs were selected for each population (n = 8–13 for NR1I3; n = 12–18 for NR2B1). In-silico prediction analyses revealed a number of possible functional SNPs. Our data would be valuable for future pharmacogenetic studies on the drug substrates of CAR-RXRα target genes.