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1.  Differential Metabolism of Organic Nitrates by Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1a1 and 2: Substrate Selectivity, Enzyme Inactivation, and Active Cysteine Sites 
The AAPS Journal  2011;13(4):548-555.
Organic nitrate vasodilators (ORN) exert their pharmacologic effects through the metabolic release of nitric oxide (NO). Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) is the principal enzyme responsible for NO liberation from nitroglycerin (NTG), but lacks activity towards other ORN. Cytosolic aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH1a1) can produce NO from NTG, but its activity towards other ORN is unknown. Using purified enzymes, we showed that both isoforms could liberate NO from NTG, isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN), and nicrorandil, while only ALDH1a1 metabolized isosorbide-2-mononitrate and isosorbide-5-mononitrate (IS-5-MN). Following a 10-min incubation with purified enzyme, 0.1 mM NTG and 1 mM ISDN potently inactivated ALDH1a1 (to 21.9% ± 11.1% and 0.44% ± 1.04% of control activity, respectively) and ALDH2 (no activity remaining and 4.57% ± 7.92% of control activity, respectively), while 1 mM IS-5-MN exerted only modest inactivation of ALDH1a1 (reduced to 89% ± 4.3% of control). Cytosolic ALDH in hepatic homogenates incubated at the vascular EC50 concentrations of ORN was inactivated by NTG (to 45.1% ± 8.1% of control activity) while mitochondrial ALDH was inactivated by NTG and nicorandil (to 68.2% ± 10.0% and 78.7% ± 19.8% of control, respectively). Via site-directed mutagenesis, the active sites of ORN metabolism of ALDH2 (Cys-319) and ALDH1a1 (Cys-303) were found to be identical to those responsible for their dehydrogenase activity. Cysteine-302 of ALDH1a1 and glutamate-504 of ALDH2 were found to modulate the rate of ORN metabolism. These studies provide further characterization of the substrate selectivity, inactivation, and active sites of ALDH2 and ALDH1a1 toward ORN.
PMCID: PMC3231853  PMID: 21818694
aldehyde dehydrogenase; nitric oxide; organic nitrate; site-directed mutagenesis
3.  Pharmacokinetics of 1,4-Butanediol in Rats: Bioactivation to γ-Hydroxybutyric Acid, Interaction with Ethanol, and Oral Bioavailability 
The AAPS Journal  2008;10(1):56-69.
1,4-Butanediol (BD), a substance of abuse, is bioactivated to γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), but its fundamental pharmacokinetics (PK) have not been characterized. Because this bioactivation is partly mediated by alcohol dehydrogenase, we hypothesized that there may also be a metabolic interaction between ethanol (ETOH) and BD. We therefore studied, in rats, the plasma PK of GHB, BD and ETOH each at two intravenous (IV) doses, when each substance was given alone, and when GHB or BD was co-administered with ETOH. Results showed that bioconversion of intravenously administered BD to GHB was complete, and that both GHB and BD exhibited nonlinear PK. Various population PK models were analyzed using NONMEM VI, and the best disposition model was found to include two PK compartments each for BD, an (unmeasured) putative semialdehyde intermediate (ALD), GHB and ETOH, the presence of nonlinear (Michaelis–Menten) elimination for each compound, and several mutual inhibition processes. The most prominent mutual metabolic inhibition was found between ETOH and BD, while that between GHB and ETOH was not significant. In vitro studies using liver homogenates confirmed mutual metabolic inhibitions between GHB and BD. Oral absorption of BD was best described by a first-order process with lag-time and pre-systemic metabolism from BD to ALD. Oral absorption of BD (as BD plus ALD) was rapid and complete. The fraction of the absorbed dose entering the central compartment as BD was 30% for the 1.58 mmol/kg dose and 55% for the 6.34 mmol/kg dose. At 6.34 mmol/kg IV, the onset of loss of righting reflex (LRR) for BD was significantly delayed vs. that produced by GHB (72.0 ± 9.1 min vs. 6.7 ± 0.6 min, respectively, p < 0.001), and the total duration of LRR was prolonged for BD vs. GHB (192 ± 28 min vs. 117 ± 2 min, respectively, p < 0.05). Relative to IV dosing, oral BD produced similar but more variable LRR effects. These results may provide a quantitative PK framework for the understanding of the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of both BD and GHB.
PMCID: PMC2751451  PMID: 18446506
1,4-butanediol; drugs of abuse; ethanol; GHB; metabolic inhibition; population pharmacokinetics
4.  Inactivation of hepatic enzymes by inhalant nitrite—In vivo and in vitro studies 
The AAPS Journal  2007;9(3):E298-E305.
We examined the effects of acute isobutyl nitrite (ISBN) exposure on the activity of several hepatic enzymes. Two strains of adult male mice (Balb/c and C57BL/6) were exposed to 900 ppm ISBN or ambient air for 45 minutes. The enzyme activity of hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated deethylation, glutathione S-transferase (GST), and carboxylesterase (CBE) was monitored through the substrates 3-cyano-7-ethoxycoumarin (CEC), 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene, and p-nitrophenyl acetate, respectively. Acute ISBN exposure led to a significant reduction in hepatic CYP-mediated CEC deethylation, GST, and CBE activity in Balb/c mice (of 81.5%, 74.7%, and 25.2%, respectively, vs control mice, each at P<.05) when livers were harvested immediately after inhalant exposure. The corresponding decreases in C57BL/6 mice were smaller (with reductions of 21.8%, 18.8%, and 13.3%, respectively, each at P<.05). This enzyme activity, tested in C57BL/6 mice only, returned to control values after a 24-hour period of nonexposure. Follow-up mechanistic investigations using rat liver GST indicated that ISBN-mediated enzyme inactivation was not caused by its metabolites: inorganic nitrite ion (NO2−) or nitric oxide. This inactivation could be prevented, but not reversed, by added glutathione, suggesting irreversible protein oxidation. Using different NO donors as comparative agents, we found that GST inactivation by ISBN was not associated with protein S-nitrosylation or disulfide formation, but with tyrosine nitration. Inhalant nitrite exposure, therefore, led to a significant reduction in hepatic enzyme activity in mice, possibly through tyrosine nitration of hepatic proteins. This effect raises the possibility of drug-drug metabolic interactions from inhalant nitrite abuse. However, determining the applicability of these findings to humans will require further study.
PMCID: PMC2751477  PMID: 17915831
Inhalant nitrite; liver; enzyme; metabolism; glutathione-S-transferase; nitration; S-nitrosylation

Results 1-4 (4)