Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals

Characterization of the active site properties of CYP4F12.

PMID 25074871


Cytochrome P450 4F12 is a drug-metabolizing enzyme that is primarily expressed in the liver, kidney, colon, small intestine, and heart. The properties of CYP4F12 that may impart an increased catalytic selectivity (decreased promiscuity) were explored through in vitro metabolite elucidation, kinetic isotope effect experiments, and computational modeling of the CYP4F12 active site. By using astemizole as a probe substrate for CYP4F12 and CYP3A4, it was observed that although CYP4F12 favored astemizole O-demethylation as the primary route of metabolism, CYP3A4 was capable of metabolizing astemizole at multiple sites on the molecule. Deuteration of astemizole at the site of O-demethylation resulted in an isotope effect of 7.1 as well as an 8.3-fold decrease in the rate of clearance for astemizole by CYP4F12. Conversely, although an isotope effect of 3.8 was observed for the formation of the O-desmethyl metabolite when deuterated astemizole was metabolized by CYP3A4, there was no decrease in the clearance of astemizole. Development of a homology model of CYP4F12 based on the crystal structure of cytochrome P450 BM3 predicted an active site volume for CYP4F12 that was approximately 76% of the active site volume of CYP3A4. As predicted, multiple favorable binding orientations were available for astemizole docked into the active site of CYP3A4, but only a single binding orientation with the site of O-demethylation oriented toward the heme was identified for CYP4F12. Overall, it appears that although CYP4F12 may be capable of binding similar ligands to other cytochrome P450 enzymes such as CYP3A4, the ability to achieve catalytically favorable orientations may be inherently more difficult because of the increased steric constraints of the CYP4F12 active site.