NYMC Faculty Publications

Distinct Effects of Form Selective Cytochrome P450 Inhibitors on Cytochrome P450-Mediated Monooxygenase and Hydrogen Peroxide Generating NADPH Oxidase

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Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology

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Public Health


A characteristic of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is their ability to generate HO, either directly or indirectly via superoxide anion, a reaction referred to as "NADPH oxidase" activity. HO production by CYPs can lead to the accumulation of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species which can compromise cellular functioning and contribute to tissue injury. Herein we determined if form selective CYP inhibitors could distinguish between the activities of the monooxygenase and NADPH oxidase activities of rat recombinant CYP1A2, CYP2E1, CYP3A1 and CYP3A2 and CYP1A1/2-enriched β-naphthoflavone-induced rat liver microsomes, CYP2E1-enriched isoniazide-induced rat liver microsomes and CYP3A subfamily-enriched dexamethasone-induced rat liver microsomes. In the presence of 7,8-benzoflavone (2.0 μM) for CYP1A2 and 4-methylpyrazole (32 μM) or DMSO (16 mM) for CYP2E1, monooxygenase activity was blocked without affecting NADPH oxidase activity for both the recombinant enzymes and microsomal preparations. Ketoconazole (1.0 μM), a form selective inhibitor for CYP3A subfamily enzymes, completely inhibited monooxygenase activity of rat recombinant CYP3A1/3A2 and CYP3A subfamily in rat liver microsomes; it also partially inhibited NADPH oxidase activity. 7,8-benzoflavone is a type I ligand, which competes with substrate binding, while 4-methylpyrazole and DMSO are type II heme binding ligands. Interactions of heme with these type II ligands was not sufficient to interfere with oxygen activation, which is required for NADPH oxidase activity. Ketoconazole, a type II ligand known to bind multiple sites on CYP3A subfamily enzymes in close proximity to heme, also interfered, at least in part, with oxygen activation. These data indicate that form specific inhibitors can be used to distinguish between monooxygenase reactions and HO generating NADPH oxidase of CYP1A2 and CYP2E1. Mechanisms by which ketoconazole inhibits CYP3A NADPH oxidase remain to be determined.