Author(s): Prueksaritanont T, Gorham LM, Ma B, Liu L, Yu X,
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Abstract Simvastatin (SV) is a lactone prodrug used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Upon incubation of SV with liver microsomal preparations from human donors, four major metabolic products were formed (3'-hydroxy SV, 6'-exomethylene SV, 3',5'-dihydrodiol SV, and the active hydroxy acid, SVA), together with several minor unidentified metabolites. The 3',5'-dihydrodiol SV, a new metabolite, was inactive as an inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase. Kinetic studies of SV metabolism in human liver microsomes suggested that the major NADPH-dependent metabolites (3'-hydroxy SV, 6'-exomethylene SV, and 3',5'-dihydrodiol SV) were formed with relatively high intrinsic clearances, consistent with the extensive metabolism of SV observed in vivo. Based on four different in vitro approaches, namely 1) correlation analysis, 2) chemical inhibition, 3) immunoinhibition, and 4) metabolism by recombinant human P450, it is concluded that CYP3A is the major enzyme subfamily responsible for the metabolism of SV by human liver microsomes. Both CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 were capable of catalyzing the formation of 3',5'-dihydrodiol, 3'-hydroxy, and 6'-exomethylene metabolites. However, CYP3A4 exhibited higher affinity (> 3 fold) for SV than CYP3A5. Also, the studies indicated that CYP2D6, CYP2A6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP1A2, and CYP2E1 did not play significant roles in the metabolism of SV in vitro. Over the concentration range of 0-40 microM, SV inhibited the activity of CYP3A, but not the activities of CYP2C8/9, CYP2C19, or CYP2D6 in human liver microsomes. The inhibition of hepatic midazolam 1'-hydroxylase, a CYP3A marker activity, by SV was competitive with a Ki value of approximately 10 microM. SV was > 30-fold less potent than ketoconazole and itraconazole as an inhibitor of CYP3A. Under the same conditions, SVA, the hydrophilic hydroxy acid form of SV, did not inhibit CYP3A, CYP2C8/9, CYP2C19, or CYP2D6 activities. The results suggested that the in vivo inhibitory effects of SV on the metabolism of CYP3A substrates likely would be less than those of ketoconazole and itraconazole at their respective therapeutic concentrations. In addition, metabolic activities mediated by the other P450 enzymes tested are unlikely to be affected by SV.
This article was published in Drug Metab Dispos
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics