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Drug Metab Rev. 2007;39(4):699-721.

Drugs as CYP3A probes, inducers, and inhibitors.

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Key Laboratory of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China.


Human cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A subfamily members (mainly CYP3A4 and CYP3A5) mediate the metabolism of approximately half all marketed drugs and thus play a critical role in the drug metabolism. A huge number of studies on CYP3A-mediated drug metabolism in humans have demonstrated that CYP3A activity exhibits marked ethnic and individual variability, in part because of altered levels of CYP3A4 expression by various environmental factors and functionally important polymorphisms present in CYP3A5 gene. Accumulating evidence has revealed that CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 have a significant overlapping in their substrate specificity, inducers and inhibitors. Therefore, it is difficult to define their respective contribution to drug metabolism and drug-drug interactions. Furthermore, P-glycoprotein and CYP3A are frequently co-expressed in the same cells and share a large number of substrates and modulators. The disposition of such drugs is thus affected by both metabolism and transport. In this review, we systematically summarized the frequently used CYP3A probe drugs, inducers and inhibitors, and evaluated their current status in drug development and research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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