Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals

Inhibition of human thiopurine S-methyltransferase by various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in vitro: a mechanism for possible drug interactions.

PMID 17553913


Thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT) is a biotransformation phase II enzyme responsible for the metabolic inactivation of thiopurine drugs. The present study was carried out to investigate the inhibitory potential of 15 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on human TPMT activity in vitro. TPMT activity was measured in pooled human erythrocytes in the absence and presence of various NSAIDs using the previously published high-performance liquid chromatography-UV method. To determine the inhibition type and K(i) value for each compound, we performed kinetic analysis at five different inhibitor concentrations close to the IC(50) value obtained in preliminary experiments. Naproxen (K(i) = 52 microM), mefenamic acid (K(i) = 39 microM), and tolfenamic acid (K(i) = 50 microM) inhibited TPMT activity in a noncompetitive manner. The estimated K(i) values for the inhibition of TPMT by ketoprofen (K(i) = 172 microM) and ibuprofen (K(i) = 1043 microM) indicated that the propionic acid derivatives were relatively weak inhibitors of TPMT. Our results suggest that coadministration of thiopurines and various NSAIDs may lead to drug interactions.