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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Mar;332(3):755-63. doi: 10.1124/jpet.109.160614. Epub 2009 Dec 9.

Naturally occurring variants of human CBR3 alter anthracycline in vitro metabolism.

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Division of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2146 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3.


Doxorubicin (DOX) and daunorubicin (DAUN) are anthracycline anticancer agents; however, considerable interpatient variability exists in their pharmacokinetics. This interpatient variability is attributed in part to altered metabolism by nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (ns-SNPs) in genes encoding the carbonyl reductases. This study examines the effect of seven naturally occurring ns-SNPs in the CBR3 gene on in vitro metabolism of anthracyclines to doxorubicinol and daunorubicinol. Kinetic assays measure metabolite levels by high-performance liquid chromatography separation with fluorescence detection by use of purified, histidine-tagged, human CBR3 wild type and variant enzymes. The V224M, C4Y, and V93I variants resulted in significantly reduced maximal reaction velocity (V(max)) for both anthracyclines compared with the wild-type enzyme, whereas the M235L variant had significantly reduced V(max) for DOX only. Significant increases in substrate affinity were found for the V244M variant with DAUN, as well as the C4Y and V93I variants with DOX. The catalytic efficiency values for the V244M, C4Y, and V93I variants were significantly lower than the wild type for DAUN and DOX. Furthermore, DOX was observed to be a better substrate than DAUN for the wild-type enzyme and its variants. HapMap analysis indicated that a haplotype carrying the C4Y and V244M mutations may occur in some individuals in the 11 ethnic populations studied in the HapMap project. Our preparation of the double mutant indicated a significant reduction in activity compared with the wild-type enzyme and single-mutant preparations. These findings suggest that commonly occurring ns-SNPs in human CBR3 significantly alter the in vitro metabolism of DOX and DAUN.

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