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Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2014 Jul 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Human nitrilase-like protein does not catalyze the hydrolysis of vildagliptin.

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  • 1Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kitasato University.


‚ÄÉNitrilase, which is found in plants and many types of bacteria, is known as the enzyme that catalyzes hydrolysis of a wide variety of nitrile compounds. While human nitrilase-like protein (NIT), which is a member of the nitrilase superfamily, has two distinct isozymes, NIT1 and NIT2, their function has not been well understood. In this study, we investigated whether human NIT1 and NIT2 are involved in the hydrolysis of drugs using vildagliptin as a substrate. We performed western blot analysis using human liver samples to examine protein expression of human NIT in the liver, finding that human NIT1 and NIT2 were highly expressed in the liver cytosol. We established stable single expression systems of human NIT1 and NIT2 in HEK293 cells to clarify the contribution of human NIT to hydrolysis of vildagliptin. Although the formation of a carboxylic acid metabolite of vildagliptin (M20.7) was observed in human liver samples, M20.7 was not formed by incubating vildagliptin with HEK293 cells-expressing human NIT1 or NIT2. This suggests that human NIT1 or NIT2 is not involved in the metabolism of vildagliptin. Further investigation using other drugs is needed to clarify the contribution of human NIT to drug metabolism.

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