Author(s): Jacobsen W, Kuhn B, Soldner A, Kirchner G, Sewing KF,
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Abstract In an in vitro study, we compared the cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent metabolism and drug interactions of the acid and lactone forms of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitor atorvastatin. Metabolism of atorvastatin acid and lactone by human liver microsomes resulted in para-hydroxy and ortho-hydroxy metabolites. Both substrates were metabolized mainly by CYP3A4 and CYP3A5. Atorvastatin lactone had a significantly higher affinity to CYP3A4 than the acid (K(m): para-hydroxy atorvastatin, 25.6 +/- 5.0 microM; para-hydroxy atorvastatin lactone, 1.4 +/- 0.2 microM; ortho-hydroxy atorvastatin, 29.7 +/- 9.4 microM; and ortho-hydroxy atorvastatin lactone, 3.9 +/- 0.2 microM). Compared with atorvastatin acid, CYP-dependent metabolism of atorvastatin lactone to its para-hydroxy metabolite was 83-fold higher [formation CL(int) (V(max)/K(m)): lactone 2949 +/- 3511 versus acid 35.5 +/- 48.1 microl. min(-1). mg(-1)] and to its ortho-hydroxy metabolite was 20-fold higher (CL(int): lactone 923 +/- 965 versus acid 45.8 +/- 59. 1 microl. min(-1). mg(-1)). Atorvastatin lactone inhibited the metabolism of atorvastatin acid by human liver microsomes with an inhibition constant (K(i)) of 0.9 microM while the K(i) for inhibition of atorvastatin by atorvastatin lactone was 90 microM. Binding free energy calculations of atorvastatin acid and atorvastatin lactone complexed with CYP3A4 revealed that the smaller desolvation energy of the neutral lactone compared with the anionic acid is the dominant contribution to the higher binding affinity of the lactone rather than an entropy advantage. Because atorvastatin lactone has a significantly higher metabolic clearance and the lactone is a strong inhibitor of atorvastatin acid metabolism, it can be expected that metabolism of the lactone is the relevant pathway for atorvastatin elimination and drug interactions. We hypothesize that most of the open acid metabolites present in human plasma are generated by interconversion of lactone metabolites.
This article was published in Drug Metab Dispos
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability