Author(s): Khanna R, Morton CL, Danks MK, Potter PM
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Abstract Irinotecan [7-ethyl-10-[4-(1-piperidino)-1-piperidino]carbonyloxycamptothecin (CPT-11)] is metabolized by esterases to yield the potent topoisomerase I poison 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin. One of the major side effects observed with CPT-11 is gastrointestinal toxicity, and we supposed that this might be due to local activation of CPT-11 within the gut. Carboxylesterase (CE) activity was detected in human gut biopsies, and extracts of these tissues converted CPT-11 to 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin in vitro. Expression of a human intestinal CE cDNA in COS-7 cells produced extracts that demonstrated proficient CPT-11 activation and conferred sensitivity of cells to CPT-11. These results suggest that gut toxicity from CPT-11 may be due in part to direct drug conversion by CEs present within the small intestine.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Theoretical and Computational Science