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Drug Metab Dispos. 2007 Nov;35(11):2040-4. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

The UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 isozyme is responsible for gemfibrozil glucuronidation in the human liver.

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Drug Metabolism Research Laboratories, Astellas Pharma Inc., 1-8, Azusawa 1-chome, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 174-8511, Japan.


Gemfibrozil, a fibrate hypolipidemic agent, is eliminated in humans by glucuronidation. A gemfibrozil glucuronide has been reported to show time-dependent inhibition of cytochrome P450 2C8. Comprehensive assessment of the drug interaction between gemfibrozil and cytochrome P450 2C8 substrates requires a clear understanding of gemfibrozil glucuronidation. However, the primary UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) isozymes responsible for gemfibrozil glucuronidation remain to be determined. Here, we identified the main UGT isozymes involved in gemfibrozil glucuronidation. Evaluation of 12 recombinant human UGT isozymes shows gemfibrozil glucuronidation activity in UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A9, UGT2B4, UGT2B7, and UGT2B17, with UGT2B7 showing the highest activity. The kinetics of gemfibrozil glucuronidation in pooled human liver microsomes (HLMs) follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics with high and low affinity components. The high affinity K(m) value was 2.5 microM, which is similar to the K(m) value of gemfibrozil glucuronidation in recombinant UGT2B7 (2.2 microM). In 16 HLMs, a significant correlation was observed between gemfibrozil glucuronidation and both morphine 3-OH glucuronidation (r = 0.966, p < 0.0001) and flurbiprofen glucuronidation (r = 0.937, p < 0.0001), two reactions mainly catalyzed by UGT2B7, whereas no significant correlation was observed between gemfibrozil glucuronidation and either estradiol 3beta-glucuronidation and propofol glucuronidation, two reactions catalyzed by UGT1A1 and UGT1A9, respectively. Flurbiprofen and mefenamic acid inhibited gemfibrozil glucuronidation in HLMs with similar IC(50) values to those reported in recombinant UGT2B7. These results suggest that UGT2B7 is the main isozyme responsible for gemfibrozil glucuronidation in humans.

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