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1.  Isoniazid Mediates the CYP2B6*6 Genotype-Dependent Interaction between Efavirenz and Antituberculosis Drug Therapy through Mechanism-Based Inactivation of CYP2A6 
Efavirenz is commonly used to treat patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis. Previous clinical studies have observed paradoxically elevated efavirenz plasma concentrations in patients with the CYP2B6*6/*6 genotype (but not the CYP2B6*1/*1 genotype) during coadministration with the commonly used four-drug antituberculosis therapy. This study sought to elucidate the mechanism underlying this genotype-dependent drug-drug interaction. In vitro studies were conducted to determine whether one or more of the antituberculosis drugs (rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, or ethambutol) potently inhibit efavirenz 8-hydroxylation by CYP2B6 or efavirenz 7-hydroxylation by CYP2A6, the main mechanisms of efavirenz clearance. Time- and concentration-dependent kinetics of inhibition by the antituberculosis drugs were determined using genotyped human liver microsomes (HLMs) and recombinant CYP2A6, CYP2B6.1, and CYP2B6.6 enzymes. Although none of the antituberculosis drugs evaluated at up to 10 times clinical plasma concentrations were found to inhibit efavirenz 8-hydroxylation by HLMs, both rifampin (apparent inhibition constant [Ki] = 368 μM) and pyrazinamide (Ki = 637 μM) showed relatively weak inhibition of efavirenz 7-hydroxylation. Importantly, isoniazid demonstrated potent time-dependent inhibition of efavirenz 7-hydroxylation in both HLMs (inhibitor concentration required for half-maximal inactivation [KI] = 30 μM; maximal rate constant of inactivation [kinact] = 0.023 min−1) and recombinant CYP2A6 (KI = 15 μM; kinact = 0.024 min−1) and also formed a metabolite intermediate complex consistent with mechanism-based inhibition. Selective inhibition of the CYP2B6.6 allozyme could not be demonstrated for any of the antituberculosis drugs using either recombinant enzymes or CYP2B6*6 genotype HLMs. In conclusion, the results of this study identify isoniazid as the most likely perpetrator of this clinically important drug-drug interaction through mechanism-based inactivation of CYP2A6.
PMCID: PMC4068589  PMID: 24820076
2.  Effect of CYP2B6*6 and CYP2C19*2 genotype on chlorpyrifos metabolism 
Toxicology  2012;293(0):115-122.
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a widely used organophosphorus (OP) pesticide. CPF is bioactivated by cytochrome P450s (CYPs) to the potent cholinesterase inhibitor chlorpyrifos oxon (CPF-O) or detoxified to 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy). Human CYP2B6 has the highest reported Vmax/Km (intrinsic clearance - CLint) for bioactivation while CYP2C19 has the highest reported CLint for detoxification of CPF. In this study, 22 human liver microsomes (HLMs) genotyped for common variants of these enzymes (CYP2B6*6 and CYP2C19*2) were incubated with 10μM and 0.5μM CPF and assayed for metabolite production. While no differences in metabolite production were observed in homozygous CYP2C19*2 HLMs, homozygous CYP2B6*6 specimens produced significantly less CPF-O than wild-type specimens at 10μM (mean 144 and 446 pmol/min/mg, respectively). This correlated with reduced expression of CYP2B6 protein (mean 4.86 and 30.1 pmol/mg, for CYP2B6*6 and *1, respectively). Additionally, CYP2B6*1 and CYP2B6*6 were over-expressed in mammalian COS-1 cells to assess for the first time the impact of the CYP2B6*6 variant on the kinetic parameters of CPF bioactivation. The Vmax for CYP2B6*6 (1.05 × 105 pmol/min/nmol CYP2B6) was significantly higher than that of CYP2B6*1 (4.13 × 104 pmol/min/nmol CYP2B6) but the Km values did not differ (1.97 μM for CYP2B6*6 and 1.84 μM for CYP2B6*1) resulting in CLint rates of 53.5 and 22.5 nL/min/nmol CYP2B6 for *6 and *1, respectively. These data suggest that CYP2B6*6 has increased specific activity but reduced capacity to bioactivate CPF in HLMs compared to wild-type due to reduced hepatic protein expression, indicating that individuals with this genotype may be less susceptible to CPF toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3935332  PMID: 22281205
CYP2B6; CYP2C19; chlorpyrifos; biotransformation
3.  Pharmacogenetics of cytochrome P450 2B6 (CYP2B6): advances on polymorphisms, mechanisms, and clinical relevance 
Cytochrome P450 2B6 (CYP2B6) belongs to the minor drug metabolizing P450s in human liver. Expression is highly variable both between individuals and within individuals, owing to non-genetic factors, genetic polymorphisms, inducibility, and irreversible inhibition by many compounds. Drugs metabolized mainly by CYP2B6 include artemisinin, bupropion, cyclophosphamide, efavirenz, ketamine, and methadone. CYP2B6 is one of the most polymorphic CYP genes in humans and variants have been shown to affect transcriptional regulation, splicing, mRNA and protein expression, and catalytic activity. Some variants appear to affect several functional levels simultaneously, thus, combined in haplotypes, leading to complex interactions between substrate-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The most common functionally deficient allele is CYP2B6*6 [Q172H, K262R], which occurs at frequencies of 15 to over 60% in different populations. The allele leads to lower expression in liver due to erroneous splicing. Recent investigations suggest that the amino acid changes contribute complex substrate-dependent effects at the activity level, although data from recombinant systems used by different researchers are not well in agreement with each other. Another important variant, CYP2B6*18 [I328T], occurs predominantly in Africans (4–12%) and does not express functional protein. A large number of uncharacterized variants are currently emerging from different ethnicities in the course of the 1000 Genomes Project. The CYP2B6 polymorphism is clinically relevant for HIV-infected patients treated with the reverse transcriptase inhibitor efavirenz, but it is increasingly being recognized for other drug substrates. This review summarizes recent advances on the functional and clinical significance of CYP2B6 and its genetic polymorphism, with particular emphasis on the comparison of kinetic data obtained with different substrates for variants expressed in different recombinant expression systems.
PMCID: PMC3588594  PMID: 23467454
bupropion; cyclophosphamide; cytochrome P450; drug metabolism; drug–drug interaction; efavirenz; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics
4.  Pharmacogenomics of Cytochrome P450 3A4: Recent Progress Toward the “Missing Heritability” Problem 
CYP3A4 is the most important drug metabolizing enzyme in adult humans because of its prominent expression in liver and gut and because of its broad substrate specificity, which includes drugs from most therapeutic categories and many endogenous substances. Expression and function of CYP3A4 vary extensively both intra- and interindividually thus contributing to unpredictable drug response and toxicity. A multitude of environmental, genetic, and physiological factors are known to influence CYP3A4 expression and activity. Among the best predictable sources of variation are drug–drug interactions, which are either caused by pregnane X-receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) mediated gene induction, or by inhibition through coadministered drugs or other chemicals, including also plant and food ingredients. Among physiological and pathophysiological factors are hormonal status, age, and gender, the latter of which was shown to result in higher levels in females compared to males, as well as inflammatory processes that downregulate CYP3A4 transcription. Despite the influence of these non-genetic factors, the genetic influence on CYP3A4 activity was estimated in previous twin studies and using information on repeated drug administration to account for 66% up to 88% of the interindividual variation. Although many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the CYP3A locus have been identified, genetic association studies have so far failed to explain a major part of the phenotypic variability. The term “missing heritability” has been used to denominate the gap between expected and known genetic contribution, e.g., for complex diseases, and is also used here in analogy. In this review we summarize CYP3A4 pharmacogenetics/genomics from the early inheritance estimations up to the most recent genetic and clinical studies, including new findings about SNPs in CYP3A4 (*22) and other genes (P450 oxidoreductase (POR), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARA)) with possible contribution to CYP3A4 variable expression.
PMCID: PMC3580761  PMID: 23444277
cytochrome P450; CYP3A4; pharmacogenomics; pharmacogenetics; drug metabolism; heritability
5.  Molecular Interactions between NAFLD and Xenobiotic Metabolism 
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, is a complex multifactorial disease characterized by metabolic deregulations that include accumulation of lipids in the liver, lipotoxicity, and insulin resistance. The progression of NAFLD to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and cirrhosis, and ultimately to carcinomas, is governed by interplay of pro-inflammatory pathways, oxidative stress, as well as fibrogenic and apoptotic cues. As the liver is the major organ of biotransformation, deregulations in hepatic signaling pathways have effects on both, xenobiotic and endobiotic metabolism. Several major nuclear receptors involved in the transcription and regulation of phase I and II drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters also have endobiotic ligands including several lipids. Hence, hepatic lipid accumulation in steatosis and NAFLD, which leads to deregulated activation patterns of nuclear receptors, may result in altered drug metabolism capacity in NAFLD patients. On the other hand, genetic and association studies have indicated that a malfunction in drug metabolism can affect the prevalence and severity of NAFLD. This review focuses on the complex interplay between NAFLD pathogenesis and drug metabolism. A better understanding of these relationships is a prerequisite for developing improved drug dosing algorithms for the pharmacotherapy of patients with different stages of NAFLD.
PMCID: PMC3550596  PMID: 23346097
NAFLD; xenobiotic metabolism; nuclear receptors; phase I and II enzymes; transporters
6.  Genetics is a major determinant of expression of the human hepatic uptake transporter OATP1B1, but not of OATP1B3 and OATP2B1 
Genome Medicine  2013;5(1):1.
Organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) 1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP2B1 (encoded by SLCO1B1, SLCO1B3, SLCO2B1) mediate the hepatic uptake of endogenous compounds like bile acids and of drugs, for example, the lipid-lowering atorvastatin, thereby influencing hepatobiliary elimination. Here we systematically elucidated the contribution of SLCO variants on expression of the three hepatic OATPs under consideration of additional important covariates.
Expression was quantified by RT-PCR and immunoblotting in 143 Caucasian liver samples. A total of 109 rare and common variants in the SLCO1B3-SLCO1B1 genomic region and the SLCO2B1 gene were genotyped by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and genome-wide SNP microarray technology. SLCO1B1 haplotypes affecting hepatic OATP1B1 expression were associated with pharmacokinetic data of the OATP1B1 substrate atorvastatin (n = 82).
Expression of OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP2B1 at the mRNA and protein levels showed marked interindividual variability. All three OATPs were expressed in a coordinated fashion. By a multivariate regression analysis adjusted for non-genetic and transcription covariates, increased OATP1B1 expression was associated with the coding SLCO1B1 variant c.388A > G (rs2306283) even after correction for multiple testing (P = 0.00034). This held true for haplotypes harboring c.388A > G but not the functional variant c.521T > C (rs4149056) associated with statin-related myopathy. c.388A > G also significantly affected atorvastatin pharmacokinetics. SLCO variants and non-genetic and regulatory covariates together accounted for 59% of variability of OATP1B1 expression.
Our results show that expression of OATP1B1, but not of OATP1B3 and OATP2B1, is significantly affected by genetic variants. The SLCO1B1 variant c.388A > G is the major determinant with additional consequences on atorvastatin plasma levels.
PMCID: PMC3706890  PMID: 23311897
7.  DNA methylation is associated with downregulation of the organic cation transporter OCT1 (SLC22A1) in human hepatocellular carcinoma 
Genome Medicine  2011;3(12):82.
Organic cation transporters (OCTs) determine not only physiological processes but are also involved in the cellular uptake of anticancer agents. Based on microarray analyses in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), SLC22A1/OCT1 mRNA seems to be downregulated, but systematic protein expression data are currently missing. Moreover, the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for altered SLC22A1 expression in HCC are not fully understood. Therefore, we investigated the role of DNA methylation in the transcriptional regulation of the family members SLC22A1/OCT1, SLC22A2/OCT2 and SLC22A3/OCT3 in HCC.
Semiquantitative immunohistochemistry of SLC22A1 protein expression was performed in paired HCC and histological normal adjacent liver tissues (n = 71) using tissue microarray analyses, and the results were correlated with clinicopathological features. DNA methylation, quantified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and gene expression of SLC22A1, SLC22A2 and SLC22A3 were investigated using fresh-frozen HCC (n = 22) and non-tumor adjacent liver tissues as well as histologically normal liver samples (n = 120) from a large-scale liverbank.
Based on tissue microarray analyses, we observed a significant downregulation of SLC22A1 protein expression in HCC compared to normal adjacent tissue (P < 0.0001). SLC22A1 expression was significantly inverse correlated with expression of the proliferation marker MIB1/Ki-67 (rs = -0.464, P < 0.0001). DNA methylation of SLC22A1 was significantly higher in HCC compared with non-tumor adjacent liver tissue and was lowest in histologically normal liver tissue. Methylation levels for SLC22A1 in combination with RASSF1A resulted in a specificity of > 90% and a sensitivity of 82% for discriminating HCC and tumor-free liver tissue.
DNA methylation of SLC22A1 is associated with downregulation of SLC22A1 in HCC and might be a new biomarker for HCC diagnosis and prognosis. Moreover, targeting SLC22A1 methylation by demethylating agents may offer a novel strategy for anticancer therapy of HCC.
PMCID: PMC3334547  PMID: 22196450
8.  Impact of CYP2B6, ABCB1 and CYP3A5 Polymorphisms on Efavirenz Pharmacokinetics and Treatment Response: An AIDS Clinical Trials Group Study 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2010;202(5):717-722.
We characterized relationships between 22 polymorphisms in CYP2B6, ABCB1 and CYP3A5, plasma efavirenz exposure, and/or treatment responses in AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocols 384, A5095, and A5097s. A stepwise logistic regression procedure selected polymorphisms associated with reduced drug clearance adjusted for body mass index and composite CYP2B6 516/983 genotype. Competing risk methodology characterized relationships between selected polymorphisms and treatment responses. Association analyses involved 821 individuals (317 for pharmacokinetics, 643 for treatment response). Models that included CYP2B6 516/983 genotype best predicted pharmacokinetics. Slow metabolizer genotypes were associated with increased central nervous system events among whites, and decreased virologic failure among blacks.
PMCID: PMC2919241  PMID: 20662624
pharmacogenetics; efavirenz; CYP2B6; HIV therapy
9.  Transcriptional Profiling of Human Liver Identifies Sex-Biased Genes Associated with Polygenic Dyslipidemia and Coronary Artery Disease 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23506.
Sex-differences in human liver gene expression were characterized on a genome-wide scale using a large liver sample collection, allowing for detection of small expression differences with high statistical power. 1,249 sex-biased genes were identified, 70% showing higher expression in females. Chromosomal bias was apparent, with female-biased genes enriched on chrX and male-biased genes enriched on chrY and chr19, where 11 male-biased zinc-finger KRAB-repressor domain genes are distributed in six clusters. Top biological functions and diseases significantly enriched in sex-biased genes include transcription, chromatin organization and modification, sexual reproduction, lipid metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Notably, sex-biased genes are enriched at loci associated with polygenic dyslipidemia and coronary artery disease in genome-wide association studies. Moreover, of the 8 sex-biased genes at these loci, 4 have been directly linked to monogenic disorders of lipid metabolism and show an expression profile in females (elevated expression of ABCA1, APOA5 and LDLR; reduced expression of LIPC) that is consistent with the lower female risk of coronary artery disease. Female-biased expression was also observed for CYP7A1, which is activated by drugs used to treat hypercholesterolemia. Several sex-biased drug-metabolizing enzyme genes were identified, including members of the CYP, UGT, GPX and ALDH families. Half of 879 mouse orthologs, including many genes of lipid metabolism and homeostasis, show growth hormone-regulated sex-biased expression in mouse liver, suggesting growth hormone might play a similar regulatory role in human liver. Finally, the evolutionary rate of protein coding regions for human-mouse orthologs, revealed by dN/dS ratio, is significantly higher for genes showing the same sex-bias in both species than for non-sex-biased genes. These findings establish that human hepatic sex differences are widespread and affect diverse cell metabolic processes, and may help explain sex differences in lipid profiles associated with sex differential risk of coronary artery disease.
PMCID: PMC3155567  PMID: 21858147
10.  Paraoxonase (PON1 and PON3) Polymorphisms: Impact on Liver Expression and Atorvastatin-Lactone Hydrolysis 
Atorvastatin δ-lactone, a major, pharmacologically inactive metabolite, has been associated with toxicity. In a previous study we showed that polymorphisms of UGT1A3 influence atorvastatin δ-lactone formation. Here we investigated the reverse reaction, atorvastatin δ-lactone hydrolysis, in a human liver bank. Screening of microarray data revealed paraoxonases PON1 and PON3 among 17 candidate esterases. Microsomal δ-lactone hydrolysis was significantly correlated to PON1 and PON3 protein (rs = 0.60; rs = 0.62, respectively; P < 0.0001). PON1 and PON3 were strongly correlated to each other (rs = 0.60) but PON1 was shown to be more extensively glycosylated than PON3. In addition a novel splice-variant of PON3 was identified. Genotyping of 40 polymorphisms within the PON-locus identified PON1 promoter polymorphisms (−108T > C, −832G > A, −1741G > A) and a tightly linked group of PON3 polymorphisms (−4984A > G, −4105G > A, −1091A > G, −746C > T, and F21F) to be associated with changes in atorvastatin δ-lactone hydrolysis and expression of PON1 but not PON3. However, carriers of the common PON1 polymorphisms L55M or Q192R showed no difference in δ-lactone hydrolysis or PON expression. Haplotype analysis revealed decreased δ-lactone hydrolysis in carriers of the most common haplotype *1 compared to carriers of haplotypes *2, *3, *4, and *7. Analysis of non-genetic factors showed association of hepatocellular and cholangiocellular carcinoma with decreased PON1 and PON3 expression, respectively. Increased C-reactive protein and γ-glutamyl transferase levels were associated with decreased protein expression of both enzymes, and increased bilirubin levels, cholestasis, and presurgical exposure to omeprazole or pantoprazole were related to decreased PON3 protein. In conclusion, PON-locus polymorphisms affect PON1 expression whereas non-genetic factors have an effect on PON1 and PON3 expression. This may influence response to therapy or adverse events in statin treatment.
PMCID: PMC3147178  PMID: 21852972
atorvastatin-lactone; myopathy; rhabdomyolysis; paraoxonase; PON1; PON3; SNP; pharmacogenetics
11.  MIRNA-DISTILLER: A Stand-Alone Application to Compile microRNA Data from Databases 
MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA molecules of ∼22 nucleotides which regulate large numbers of genes by binding to seed sequences at the 3′-untranslated region of target gene transcripts. The target mRNA is then usually degraded or translation is inhibited, although thus resulting in posttranscriptional down regulation of gene expression at the mRNA and/or protein level. Due to the bioinformatic difficulties in predicting functional miRNA binding sites, several publically available databases have been developed that predict miRNA binding sites based on different algorithms. The parallel use of different databases is currently indispensable, but highly uncomfortable and time consuming, especially when working with numerous genes of interest. We have therefore developed a new stand-alone program, termed MIRNA-DISTILLER, which allows to compile miRNA data for given target genes from public databases. Currently implemented are TargetScan, microCosm, and miRDB, which may be queried independently, pairwise, or together to calculate the respective intersections. Data are stored locally for application of further analysis tools including freely definable biological parameter filters, customized output-lists for both miRNAs and target genes, and various graphical facilities. The software, a data example file and a tutorial are freely available at
PMCID: PMC3268593  PMID: 22303335
database; gene expression; gene regulation; microRNA; non-coding RNA; stand-alone software
12.  A systems biology approach to dynamic modeling and inter-subject variability of statin pharmacokinetics in human hepatocytes 
BMC Systems Biology  2011;5:66.
The individual character of pharmacokinetics is of great importance in the risk assessment of new drug leads in pharmacological research. Amongst others, it is severely influenced by the properties and inter-individual variability of the enzymes and transporters of the drug detoxification system of the liver. Predicting individual drug biotransformation capacity requires quantitative and detailed models.
In this contribution we present the de novo deterministic modeling of atorvastatin biotransformation based on comprehensive published knowledge on involved metabolic and transport pathways as well as physicochemical properties. The model was evaluated on primary human hepatocytes and parameter identifiability analysis was performed under multiple experimental constraints. Dynamic simulations of atorvastatin biotransformation considering the inter-individual variability of the two major involved enzymes CYP3A4 and UGT1A3 based on quantitative protein expression data in a large human liver bank (n = 150) highlighted the variability in the individual biotransformation profiles and therefore also points to the individuality of pharmacokinetics.
A dynamic model for the biotransformation of atorvastatin has been developed using quantitative metabolite measurements in primary human hepatocytes. The model comprises kinetics for transport processes and metabolic enzymes as well as population liver expression data allowing us to assess the impact of inter-individual variability of concentrations of key proteins. Application of computational tools for parameter sensitivity analysis enabled us to considerably improve the validity of the model and to create a consistent framework for precise computer-aided simulations in toxicology.
PMCID: PMC3117731  PMID: 21548957
13.  Pathway-Targeted Pharmacogenomics of CYP1A2 in Human Liver 
The human drug metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A2, is one of the major P450 isoforms contributing by about 5–20% to the hepatic P450 pool and catalyzing oxidative biotransformation of up to 10% of clinically relevant drugs including clozapine and caffeine. CYP1A2 activity is interindividually highly variable and although twin studies have suggested a high heritability, underlying genetic factors are still unknown. Here we adopted a pathway-oriented approach using a large human liver bank (n = 150) to elucidate whether variants in candidate genes of constitutive, ligand-inducible, and pathophysiological inhibitory regulatory pathways may explain different hepatic CYP1A2 phenotypes. Samples were phenotyped for phenacetin O-deethylase activity, and the expression of CYP1A2 protein and mRNA was determined. CYP1A2 expression and function was increased in smokers and decreased in patients with inflammation and cholestasis. Of 169 SNPs in 17 candidate genes including the CYP1A locus, 136 non-redundant SNPs with minor allele frequency >5% were analyzed by univariate and multivariate methods. A total of 13 strong significant associations were identified, of which 10 SNPs in the ARNT, AhRR, HNF1α, IL1β, SRC-1, and VDR genes showed consistent changes for at least two phenotypes by univariate analysis. Multivariate linear modeling indicated that the polymorphisms and non-genetic factors together explained 42, 38, and 33% of CYP1A2 variation at activity, protein and mRNA levels, respectively. In conclusion, we identified novel trans-associations between regulatory genes and hepatic CYP1A2 function and expression, but additional genetic factors must be assumed to explain the full extent of CYP1A2 heritability.
PMCID: PMC3171976  PMID: 21918647
candidate gene; cytochrome P450; CYP1A2; multivariate analysis; non-genetic factors; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; SNP
14.  Pharmacogenetics – Challenges and Opportunities Ahead 
PMCID: PMC3095373  PMID: 21607063

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