Functional characterization of 50 CYP2D6 allelic variants by assessing primaquine 5-hydroxylation

Takahiro Saito, Evelyn Marie Gutiérrez Rico, Aoi Kikuchi, Akira Kaneko, Masaki Kumondai, Fumika Akai, Daisuke Saigusa, Akifumi Oda, Noriyasu Hirasawa, Masahiro Hiratsuka

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) is responsible for the metabolic activation of primaquine, an antimalarial drug. CYP2D6 is genetically polymorphic, and these polymorphisms are associated with interindividual variations observed in the therapeutic efficacy of primaquine. To further understand this association, we performed in vitro enzymatic analyses of the wild-type CYP2D6.1 and 49 CYP2D6 allelic variants, which were expressed in 293FT cells, using primaquine as a substrate. The concentrations of CYP2D6 variant holoenzymes were measured by using carbon monoxide (CO)-reduced difference spectroscopy, and the wild type and 27 variants showed a peak at 450 nm. The kinetic parameters Km, Vmax, and intrinsic clearance (Vmax/Km) of primaquine 5-hydroxylation were characterized. The kinetic parameters of the wild type and 16 variants were measured, but the values for the remaining 33 variants could not be determined because of low metabolite concentrations. Among the variants, six (i.e., CYP2D6.17,.18,.35,.39,.53, and.70) showed significantly reduced intrinsic clearance compared with that of CYP2D6.1. Three-dimensional structural modeling analysis was performed to elucidate the mechanism of changes in the kinetics of CYP2D6 variants. Our findings provide insights into the allele-specific activity of CYP2D6 for primaquine, which could be clinically useful for malaria treatment and eradication efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec


  • Antimalarial
  • CYP2D6
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Primaquine


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