Evidence-based strategies for the characterisation of human drug and chemical glucuronidation in vitro and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase reaction phenotyping

John O. Miners, Andrew Rowland, Jonathan J. Novak, Kimberly Lapham, Theunis C. Goosen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Enzymes of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) superfamily contribute to the elimination of drugs from almost all therapeutic classes. Awareness of the importance of glucuronidation as a drug clearance mechanism along with increased knowledge of the enzymology of drug and chemical metabolism has stimulated interest in the development and application of approaches for the characterisation of human drug glucuronidation in vitro, in particular reaction phenotyping (the fractional contribution of the individual UGT enzymes responsible for the glucuronidation of a given drug), assessment of metabolic stability, and UGT enzyme inhibition by drugs and other xenobiotics. In turn, this has permitted the implementation of in vitro – in vivo extrapolation approaches for the prediction of drug metabolic clearance, intestinal availability, and drug-drug interaction liability, all of which are of considerable importance in pre-clinical drug development. Indeed, regulatory agencies (FDA and EMA) require UGT reaction phenotyping for new chemical entities if glucuronidation accounts for ≥25% of total metabolism. In vitro studies are most commonly performed with recombinant UGT enzymes and human liver microsomes (HLM) as the enzyme sources. Despite the widespread use of in vitro approaches for the characterisation of drug and chemical glucuronidation by HLM and recombinant enzymes, evidence-based guidelines relating to experimental approaches are lacking. Here we present evidence-based strategies for the characterisation of drug and chemical glucuronidation in vitro, and for UGT reaction phenotyping. We anticipate that the strategies will inform practice, encourage development of standardised experimental procedures where feasible, and guide ongoing research in the field.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107689
    Number of pages45
    JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
    Volume218
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Keywords

    • Albumin effect
    • Drug-drug interactions
    • Enzyme assay
    • Enzyme kinetics
    • Glucuronidation
    • In vitro – In vivo extrapolation
    • Incubation conditions
    • Inhibitor selectivity
    • Non-specific binding
    • Reaction phenotyping
    • Substrate selectivity
    • UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase

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