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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1993 Aug;54(2):168-76.

Reduction of 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine to 3'-amino-3'-deoxythymidine in human liver microsomes and its relationship to cytochrome P450.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


The formation of 3'-amino-3'-deoxythymidine (AMT) in patients receiving 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (zidovudine) and the potential role of this metabolite in zidovudine-induced toxicity was recently demonstrated by our laboratory. This study evaluated the formation of AMT versus cytochrome P450 (P450) content, cytochrome B5 (B5) content and the reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-cytochrome P450 reductase activity in human liver microsomes obtained from 24 different donors. Significant interindividual differences in total P450 content and P450 reductase activity were observed, whereas no variation was observed in B5 content. Of particular importance, metabolism of zidovudine to AMT varied widely and correlated with P450 content but not with B5 content or P450 reductase activity. The apparent values for the Michaelis-Menten constant and the maximum rate of metabolism of the reaction were 46.1 mmol/L and 3.5 nmol/min/mg microsomal protein. These large variations of AMT levels as a function of P450 suggest that major interindividual differences may be observed in the pharmacokinetics and formation of this metabolite that may affect the pharmacodynamic properties of zidovudine. Potential drug-drug interactions may occur with therapeutic agents that interact with or induce P450 (zidovudine).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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