Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals

Proluciferin acetals as bioluminogenic substrates for cytochrome P450 activity and probes for CYP3A inhibition.

PMID 21890735


Cytochrome P450 (P450) assays use probe substrates to interrogate the influence of new chemical entities toward P450 enzymes. We report the synthesis and study of a family of bioluminogenic luciferin acetal substrates that are oxidized by P450 enzymes to form luciferase substrates. The luciferin acetals were screened against a panel of purified P450 enzymes. In particular, one proluciferin acetal has demonstrated sensitive and selective CYP3A4-catalyzed oxidation to a luciferin ester-K(m) and k(cat) are 2.88 μM and 5.87 pmol metabolite · min(-1) · pmol enzyme(-1), respectively. The proluciferin acetal was used as a probe substrate to measure IC(50) values of known inhibitors against recombinant CYP3A4 or human liver microsomes. IC(50) values for the known inhibitors correlate strongly with IC(50) values calculated from the traditional high-performance liquid chromatography-based probe substrate testosterone. Luciferin acetals are rapidly oxidized to unstable hemi-orthoesters by CYP3A resulting in luciferin esters and, therefore, are conducive to simple rapid CYP3A bioluminescent assays.