Once thought to be an artifact of microsomal systems, atypical kinetics with cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes have been extensively investigated in vitro and found to be substrate and species dependent. Building upon increasing reports of heterotropic CYP activation and inhibition in clinical settings, we screened a compound library of clinically approved drugs and various probe compounds to identify the frequency of heterotropism observed with different drug classes and the associated CYP enzymes thereof (1A2, 2C9, 2D6, and 3A4/5). Results of this screen revealed that the prescribed androgen receptor antagonist flutamide activated the intrinsic midazolam hydroxylase activity of CYP3A in human hepatic microsomes (66%), rat and human hepatocytes (36 and 160%, respectively), and in vivo in male Sprague-Dawley rats (>2-fold, combined area under the curve of primary rat in vivo midazolam metabolites). In addition, a screen of the pharmacologically active metabolite 2-hydroxy-flutamide revealed that this principle metabolite increased CYP3A metabolism of midazolam in human microsomes (30%) and hepatocytes (110%). Importantly, both flutamide and 2-hydroxy-flutamide demonstrated a pronounced increase in the CYP3A-mediated metabolism of commonly paired medications, nifedipine (antihypertensive) and amiodarone (antiarrhythmic), in multispecies hepatocytes (100% over baseline). These data serve to highlight the importance of an appropriate substrate and in vitro system selection in the pharmacokinetic modeling of atypical enzyme kinetics. In addition, the results of our investigation have illuminated a previously undiscovered class of heterotropic CYP3A activators and have demonstrated the importance of selecting commonly paired therapeutics in the in vitro and in vivo modeling of projected clinical outcomes.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.