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Drug Metab Dispos. 2020 Feb;48(2):75-84. doi: 10.1124/dmd.119.088229. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Glucuronidation of Abiraterone and Its Pharmacologically Active Metabolites by UGT1A4, Influence of Polymorphic Variants and Their Potential as Inhibitors of Steroid Glucuronidation.

Author information

1
Pharmacogenomics Laboratory, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec (CHU de Québec) Research Center - Université Laval and Faculty of Pharmacy (J.V., V.T., P.C., L.V., C.G.), CHU de Québec Research Center - Université Laval, Division of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, Surgery Department (L.L., F.P.), and CHU de Québec Research Center - Université Laval, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Faculty of Medicine (E.L.), Laval University, Québec, Canada.
2
Pharmacogenomics Laboratory, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec (CHU de Québec) Research Center - Université Laval and Faculty of Pharmacy (J.V., V.T., P.C., L.V., C.G.), CHU de Québec Research Center - Université Laval, Division of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, Surgery Department (L.L., F.P.), and CHU de Québec Research Center - Université Laval, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Faculty of Medicine (E.L.), Laval University, Québec, Canada Chantal.Guillemette@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca.

Abstract

Abiraterone (Abi) acetate (AA) is a prodrug of Abi, a CYP17A1 inhibitor used to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer. Abi is a selective steroidal inhibitor that blocks the biosynthesis of androgens. It undergoes extensive biotransformation by steroid pathways, leading to the formation of pharmacologically active Δ4-Abi (D4A) and 5α-Abi. This study aimed to characterize the glucuronidation pathway of Abi and its two active metabolites. We show that Abi, its metabolites, and another steroidal inhibitor galeterone (Gal) undergo secondary metabolism to form glucuronides (G) in human liver microsomes with minor formation by intestine and kidney microsomal preparations. The potential clinical relevance of this pathway is supported by the detection by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry of Abi-G, D4A-G, and 5α-Abi-G in patients under AA therapy. A screening of UGT enzymes reveals that UGT1A4 is the main enzyme involved. This is supported by inhibition experiments using a selective UGT1A4 inhibitor hecogenin. A number of common and rare nonsynonymous variants significantly abrogate the UGT1A4-mediated formation of Abi-G, D4A-G, and 5α-Abi-G in vitro. We also identify Gal, Abi, and its metabolites as highly potent inhibitors of steroid inactivation by the UGT pathway with submicromolar inhibitor constant values. They reduce the glucuronidation of both the adrenal precursors and potent androgens in human liver, prostate cancer cells, and by recombinant UGTs involved in their inactivation. In conclusion, tested CYP17A1 inhibitors are metabolized through UGT1A4, and germline variations affecting this metabolic pathway may also influence drug metabolism. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The antiandrogen abiraterone (Abi) is a selective steroidal inhibitor of the cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxy/17,20-lyase, an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of androgens. Abi is metabolized to pharmacologically active metabolites by steroidogenic enzymes. We demonstrate that Abi and its metabolites are glucuronidated in the liver and that their glucuronide derivatives are detected at variable levels in circulation of treated prostate cancer patients. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)1A4 is the primary enzyme involved, and nonsynonymous germline variations affect this metabolic pathway in vitro, suggesting a potential influence of drug metabolism and action in patients. Their inhibitory effect on drug and steroid glucuronidation raises the possibility that these pharmacological compounds might affect the UGT-associated drug-metabolizing system and pre-receptor control of androgen metabolism in patients.

PMID:
31727674
DOI:
10.1124/dmd.119.088229

Conflict of interest statement

No conflict of interests was disclosed.

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