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Chem Biol Interact. 2004 Apr 15;147(3):331-40.

Inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes participating in p-nitrophenol hydroxylation by drugs known as CYP2E1 inhibitors.

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Department of Biochemical Pharmacology, Chemical Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 17, Pusztaszeri Ășt 59-67, H-1025 Budapest, Hungary.


p-Nitrophenol hydroxylation is widely used as a probe for microsomal CYP2E1. Several drugs are known as CYP2E1 inhibitors because of their capability to inhibit p-nitrophenol hydroxylation. Our results suggest further participation of CYP2A6 and CYP2C19 enzymes in p-nitrophenol hydroxylation. Moreover, CYP2A6 and CYP2C19 may be considered as the primary catalysts, whereas CYP2E1 can also contribute to the hydroxylation of p-nitrophenol. Further aim of our study was to evaluate the selectivity of p-nitrophenol hydroxylase inhibitors towards cytochrome P450 enzymes. The effects of antifungals: bifonazole, econazole, clotrimazole, ketoconazole, miconazole; CNS-active drugs: chlorpromazine, desipramine, fluphenazine, thioridazine; and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug: diclofenac were investigated on the enzyme activities selective for CYP2A6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2E1 and CYP3A4. None of the drugs could be considered as a potent inhibitor of CYP2E1. Strong inhibition was observed for CYP3A4 by antifungals with IC(50) values in submicromolar range. However, ketoconazole was the only imidazole derivative that could be considered as a selective inhibitor of CYP3A4. The CNS-active drugs investigated were found to be weak inhibitors of CYP2A6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2E1 and CYP3A4. Diclofenac efficiently inhibited CYP2C9 and to a less extent CYP3A4 enzyme.

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