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Xenobiotica. 2008 Sep;38(9):1240-51. doi: 10.1080/00498250802334391 .

Contribution of cytochrome P450 3A4 and 3A5 to the metabolism of atorvastatin.

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CJ Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Icheon, Korea.


Atorvastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor that is mainly metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4. A recent study showed that the lipid-lowering effect of statins is affected by the CYP3A5 polymorphism. Therefore, it was investigated whether CYP3A5 contributes to the metabolism of atorvastatin. Two metabolites of atorvastatin, para- and ortho-hydroxyatorvastatin, were produced by human liver microsomes and human recombinant CYP3A enzymes, and the enzyme kinetic pattern exhibited substrate inhibition. The intrinsic clearance (CL(int)) rates of para- and ortho-hydroxyatorvastatin by CYP3A4 were 2.4- and 5.0-fold of the respective CL(int) rates of CYP3A5, indicating that CYP3A4 is the major P450 isoform responsible for atorvastatin metabolism. These results suggest that atorvastatin is preferentially metabolized by CYP3A4 rather than by CYP3A5, and thus the genetic CYP3A5 polymorphism might not be an important factor in the inter-individual variation of atorvastatin disposition and pharmacodynamics in human.

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