Inhibition of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes by lapatinib, pazopanib, regorafenib and sorafenib: Implications for hyperbilirubinemia

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    Kinase inhibitors (KIs) are a rapidly expanding class of drugs used primarily for the treatment of cancer. Data relating to the inhibition of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes by KIs is sparse. However, lapatinib (LAP), pazopanib (PAZ), regorafenib (REG) and sorafenib (SOR) have been implicated in the development of hyperbilirubinemia in patients. This study aimed to characterise the role of UGT1A1 inhibition in hyperbilirubinemia and assess the broader potential of these drugs to perpetrate drug–drug interactions arising from UGT enzyme inhibition. Twelve recombinant human UGTs from subfamilies 1A and 2B were screened for inhibition by LAP, PAZ, REG and SOR. IC 50 values for the inhibition of all UGT1A enzymes, except UGT1A3 and UGT1A4, by the four KIs were <10 μM. LAP, PAZ, REG and SOR inhibited UGT1A1-catalysed bilirubin glucuronidation with mean IC 50 values ranging from 34 nM (REG) to 3734 nM (PAZ). Subsequent kinetic experiments confirmed that REG and SOR were very potent inhibitors of human liver microsomal β-estradiol glucuronidation, an established surrogate for bilirubin glucuronidation, with mean K i values of 20 and 33 nM, respectively. K i values for LAP and PAZ were approximately 1- and 2-orders of magnitude higher than those for REG and SOR. REG and SOR were equipotent inhibitors of human liver microsomal UGT1A9 (mean K i 678 nM). REG and SOR are the most potent inhibitors of a human UGT enzyme identified to date. In vitro–in vivo extrapolation indicates that inhibition of UGT1A1 contributes significantly to the hyperbilirubinemia observed in patients treated with REG and SOR, but not with LAP and PAZ. Inhibition of other UGT1A1 substrates in vivo is likely.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-95
    Number of pages11
    JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


    • Drug–drug interaction
    • Drug–endobiotic interaction
    • Enzyme inhibition
    • Hyperbilirubinemia
    • Kinase inhibitors
    • UDP-glucuronosyltransferase


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