Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals

Kinetic mechanism of the detoxification of the organophosphate paraoxon by human serum A-esterase.

PMID 8070326


The mammalian detoxification of certain organophosphates, such as paraoxon [O,O-diethyl (p-nitrophenyl) phosphate], is catalyzed by the enzyme A-esterase. In this study, incubations of human serum in 50 mM glycine buffer (pH 10.5) with paraoxon resulted in the nonlinear production of p-nitrophenol, characterized by a rapid initial phase for the first several minutes of the incubation, followed by a second, slower phase in which the velocity approached constancy. Production of p-nitrophenol could be accurately fitted to the velocity equation for an Ordered Uni Bi kinetic mechanism with initial-burst activity, yielding estimates of appk2, appk3, and appE, for 10 human subjects. Increasing calcium concentration in the incubation resulted in increases in appk3 and appE, without affecting appk2. Conversely, addition of 1 M sodium chloride decreased the appk3 and appE, but did not alter appk2. And finally, a continuous system computer model was constructed based on the differential equations descriptive of an Ordered Uni Bi kinetic mechanism. This model accurately simulated production of p-nitrophenol from human serum, providing further support that A-esterase hydrolyzes paraoxon by an Ordered Uni Bi kinetic mechanism with initial-burst activity.