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AAPS J. 2005 Mar 4;7(1):E6-13.

A simultaneous assessment of CYP3A4 metabolism and induction in the DPX-2 cell line.

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Invitrogen Corp, 501 Charmany Dr, Madison, WI 53719, USA.


The DPX-2 cell line, a derivative of HepG2 cells, harbors human PXR and a luciferase-linked CYP3A4 promoter. These cells were used in a panel of cell-based assays for a parallel assessment of CYP3A4 induction, metabolism, and inhibition at the cellular level. CYP3A4 induction in the DPX-2 cell line by various agents was monitored in 96-well plates by a luciferase-based transcriptional activation assay. Of the prototypical CYP3A4 inducers examined, all exhibited elevated luciferase activity in DPX-2 cells. CYP3A4 enzyme activity in noninduced and rifampicin-induced DPX-2 cells was also assessed using Vivid fluorogenic substrates. Significantly elevated CYP3A4 activity levels (2.8-fold +/- 0.2-fold above DMSO-treated cells) were found in DPX-2 cells after 48 hours of exposure to rifampicin, but were undetectable in parental HepG2 cells. Rifampicin-induced activity levels were found to be suitable for assessing the inhibitory potential of new chemical entities in downstream CYP3A4 inhibition assays. The elevated CYP3A4 activity was inhibited 85% by 10 microM ketoconazole. In addition, a cytotoxicity assay to correct for possible toxic effects of compounds at the cellular level was applied. The comparative data obtained with a combination of the above assays suggests that the application of several independent in vitro technologies used in DPX-2 cells is the best possible strategy for the assessment of the complex phenomena of CYP3A4 induction and inhibition.

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