Differences in Methadone Metabolism by CYP2B6 Variants.
Methadone is a long-acting opioid with considerable unexplained interindividual variability in clearance. Cytochrome P450 2B6 (CYP2B6) mediates clinical methadone clearance and metabolic inactivation via N-demethylation to 2-ethyl-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine (EDDP). Retrospective studies suggest that individuals with the CYP2B6*6 allelic variant have higher methadone plasma concentrations. Catalytic activities of CYP2B6 variants are highly substrate- and expression-system dependent. This investigation evaluated methadone N-demethylation by expressed human CYP2B6 allelic variants in an insect cell coexpression system containing P450 reductase. Additionally, the influence of coexpressing cytochrome b5, whose role in metabolism can be inhibitory or stimulatory depending on the P450 isoform and substrate, on methadone metabolism, was evaluated. EDDP formation from therapeutic (0.25-1 μM) R- and S-methadone concentrations was CYP2B6.4 ≥ CYP2B6.1 ≥ CYP2B6.5 > CYP2B6.9 ≈ CYP2B6.6, and undetectable from CYP2B6.18. Coexpression of b5 had small and variant-specific effects at therapeutic methadone concentrations but at higher concentrations stimulated EDDP formation by CYP2B6.1, CYP2B6.4, CYP2B6.5, and CYP2B6.9 but not CYP2B6.6. In vitro intrinsic clearances were generally CYP2B6.4 ≥ CYP2B6.1 > CYP2B6.5 > CYP2B6.9 ≥ CYP2B6.6. Stereoselective methadone metabolism (S>R) was maintained with all CYP2B6 variants. These results show that methadone N-demethylation by CYP2B6.4 is greater compared with CYP2B6.1, whereas CYP2B6.9 and CYP2B6.6 (which both contain the 516G>T, Q172H polymorphism), are catalytically deficient. The presence or absence of b5 in expression systems may explain previously reported disparate catalytic activities of CYP2B6 variants for specific substrates. Differences in methadone metabolism by CYP2B6 allelic variants provide a mechanistic understanding of pharmacogenetic variability in clinical methadone metabolism and clearance.
Gadel, S; Friedel, C; Kharasch, ED
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