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and selective inhibitor of CYP2D6. This drug has been used in clinical studies as a pharmacological tool to mimic the lack of CYP2D6 in humans. By demonstrating that quinidine substantially slows the metabolism of trimipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant), investigators have implicated CYP2D6 in its metabolism.
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Effects on In vitro Metabolism Following In vivo Treatment. This method of demonstrating inhibition is of variable utility. The preparation of enzymes from animal tissues usually involves considerable dilution with the preparative medium during homogenization, centrifugation, and re-suspension. As a result inhibitors not tightly bound to the enzyme in question are lost, either in whole or in part, during the preparative processes. Therefore negative results can have little utility because failure to inhibit and loss of the inhibitor give identical results. Positive results, however, not only indicate that the compound administered is an inhibitor but also provide a clear indication of excellent binding to the enzyme, most probably due to the formation of a covalent or slowly reversible inhibitory complex. The inhibition of esterases following treatment of the animal with organophosphorus compounds, such as paraoxon, is a good example, because the phosphorylated enzyme is stable and is still inhibited after the preparative procedures. Inhibition by carbamates, however, is greatly reduced by the same procedures because the carbamylated enzyme is unstable and, in addition, the residual carbamate is highly diluted. Microsomal monooxygenase inhibitors that form stable inhibitory complexes with P450, such as SKF-525A, piperonyl butoxide, and other methylenedioxphenyl compounds, and amphetamine and its derivatives, can be readily investigated in this way. This is because the microsomes isolated from pretreated animals have a reduced capacity to oxidize many xenobiotics. Another form of chemical interaction, resulting from inhibition in vivo, that can then be demonstrated in vitro involves those xenobiotics that function by causing destruction of the enzyme in question, so-called suicide substrates. Exposure of rats to vinyl chloride results in a loss of cytochrome P450 and a corresponding reduction in the capacity of microsomes subsequently isolated to metabolize foreign compounds. Allyl isopropylacetamide and other allyl compounds have long been known to have a similar effect. In vitro Effects. In vitro measurement of the effect of one xenobiotic on the metabolism of another is by far the most common type of investigation of interactions involving inhibition. Although it is the most useful method for the study of inhibitory mechanisms, particularly when puri ed enzymes are used, it is of limited utility in assessing the toxicological implications for the intact animal. The principal reason for this is that in vitro measurement does not assess the effects of factors that affect absorption, distribution, and prior metabolism, all of which occur before the inhibitory event under consideration. Although the kinetics of inhibition of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes can be investigated in the same ways as any other enzyme mechanism, a number of problems arise that may decrease the value of this type of investigation. They include the following:
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The P450 system, a particulate enzyme system, has been investigated many times, but using methods developed for single soluble enzymes. As a result LineweaverBurke or other reciprocal plots are frequently curvilinear, and the same reaction may appear to have quite a different characteristics from laboratory to laboratory, species to species, and organ to organ.
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CHEMICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES ON XENOBIOTIC METABOLISM
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The nonspeci c binding of substrate and/or inhibitor to membrane components is a further complicating factor affecting inhibition kinetics. Both substrates and inhibitors are frequently lipophilic, with low solubility in aqueous media. Xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes commonly exist in multiple forms (e.g., glutathione S-transferases and P450s). These isozymes are all relatively nonspeci c but differ from one another in the relative af nities of the different substrates.
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The primary considerations in studies of inhibition mechanisms are reversibility and selectivity. The inhibition kinetics of reversible inhibition give considerable insight into the reaction mechanisms of enzymes and, for that reason, have been well studied. In general, reversible inhibition involves no covalent binding, occurs rapidly, and can be reversed by dialysis or, more rapidly, by dilution. Reversible inhibition is usually divided into competitive inhibition, uncompetitive inhibition, and noncompetitive inhibition. Because these types are not rigidly separated, many intermediate classes have been described. Competitive inhibition is usually caused by two substrates competing for the same active site. Following classic enzyme kinetics, there should be a change in the apparent Km but not in Vmax . In microsomal monooxygenase reaction, type I ligands, which often appear to bind as substrates but do not bind to the heme iron, might be expected to be competitive inhibitors, and this frequently appears to be the case. Examples are the inhibition of the O-demethylation of p-nitronanisole by aminopyrine, aldrin epoxidation by dihydroaldrin, and N -demethylation of aminopyrine by nicotinamide. More recently some of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), notably dichlorbiphenyl, have been shown to have a high af nity as type I ligands for rabbit liver P450 and to be competitive inhibitors of the O-demethylation of p-nitronanisole. Uncompetitive inhibition has seldom been reported in studies of xenobiotic metabolism. It occurs when an inhibitor interacts with an enzyme-substrate complex but cannot interact with free enzyme. Both Km and Vmax change by the same ratio, giving rise to a family of parallel lines in a Lineweaver-Burke plot. Noncompetitive inhibitors can bind to both the enzyme and enzyme-substrate complex to form either an enzyme-inhibitor complex or an enzyme-inhibitor-substrate complex. The net result is a decrease in Vmax but no change in Km . Metyrapone (Figure 9.6), a well-known inhibitor of monooxygenase reactions, can also, under some circumstances, stimulate metabolism in vitro. In either case the effect is noncompetitive, in that the Km does not change, whereas Vmax does, decreasing in the case of inhibition and increasing in the case of stimulation. Irreversible inhibition, which is much more important toxicologically, can arise from various causes. In most cases the formation of covalent or other stable bonds or the disruption of the enzyme structure is involved. In these cases the effect cannot be readily reversed in vitro by either dialysis or dilution. The formation of stable inhibitory complexes may involve the prior formation of a reactive intermediate that then interacts with the enzyme. An excellent example of this type of inhibition is the effect of the insecticide synergist piperonyl butoxide (Figure 9.6) on hepatic microsomal monooxygenase activity. This methylenedioxyphenyl compound can form a stable inhibitory complex that blocks CO binding to P450 and also prevents substrate oxidation. This complex results from the formation of a reactive intermediate, which is shown by the fact that the type of inhibition changes from competitive to irreversible as metabolism, in the
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