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Drug Metab Dispos. 2006 Oct;34(10):1779-85. Epub 2006 Jul 19.

Metabolism of endosulfan-alpha by human liver microsomes and its utility as a simultaneous in vitro probe for CYP2B6 and CYP3A4.

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Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Box 7633, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.


Endosulfan-alpha is metabolized to a single metabolite, endosulfan sulfate, in pooled human liver microsomes (Km = 9.8 microM, Vmax = 178.5 pmol/mg/min). With the use of recombinant cytochrome P450 (P450) isoforms, we identified CYP2B6 (Km = 16.2 microM, Vmax = 11.4 nmol/nmol P450/min) and CYP3A4 (Km = 14.4 microM, Vmax = 1.3 nmol/nmol P450/min) as the primary enzymes catalyzing the metabolism of endosulfan-alpha, although CYP2B6 had an 8-fold higher intrinsic clearance rate (CL(int) = 0.70 microl/min/pmol P450) than CYP3A4 (CL(int) = 0.09 microl/min/pmol P450). Using 16 individual human liver microsomes (HLMs), a strong correlation was observed with endosulfan sulfate formation and S-mephenytoin N-demethylase activity of CYP2B6 (r(2) = 0.79), whereas a moderate correlation with testosterone 6 beta-hydroxylase activity of CYP3A4 (r(2) = 0.54) was observed. Ticlopidine (5 microM), a potent CYP2B6 inhibitor, and ketoconazole (10 microM), a selective CYP3A4 inhibitor, together inhibited approximately 90% of endosulfan-alpha metabolism in HLMs. Using six HLM samples, the percentage total normalized rate (% TNR) was calculated to estimate the contribution of each P450 in the total metabolism of endosulfan-alpha. In five of the six HLMs used, the percentage inhibition with ticlopidine and ketoconazole in the same incubation correlated with the combined % TNRs for CYP2B6 and CYP3A4. This study shows that endosulfan-alpha is metabolized by HLMs to a single metabolite, endosulfan sulfate, and that it has potential use, in combination with inhibitors, as an in vitro probe for CYP2B6 and 3A4 catalytic activities.

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