Original Article

Modulation of the pentose phosphate pathway alters phase I metabolism of testosterone and dextromethorphan in HepG2 cells

Wen-jing XIAO, Ting MA, Chun GE, Wen-juan XIA, Yong MAO, Run-bin SUN, Xiao-yi YU, Ji-ye AA, Guang-ji WANG
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2014.137


Aim: The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is involved in the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and generation of NADPH, which plays a key role in drug metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of modulation of the PPP on drug metabolism capacity in vitro.
Methods: A pair of hepatic cell lines, ie the cancerous HepG2 cells and normal L02 cells, was used. The expression of CYP450 enzymes, p53 and G6PD in the cells were analyzed. The metabolism of testosterone (TEST, 10 μmol/L) and dextromethorphan (DEM, 1 μmol/L), the two typical substrates for CYP3A4 and CYP2D6, in the cells was examined in the presence of different agents.
Results: Both the expression and metabolic activities of CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 were considerably higher in HepG2 cells than in L02 cells. The metabolism of TEST and DEM in HepG2 cells was dose-dependently inhibited by the specific CYP3A4 inhibitor ketoconazole and CYP2D6 inhibitor quinidine. Addition of the p53 inhibitor cyclic PFT-α (5, 25 μmol/L) in HepG2 cells dose-dependently enhanced the metabolism of DEM and TEST, whereas addition of the p53 activator NSC 66811 (3, 10, 25 μmol/L) dose-dependently inhibited the metabolism. Furthermore, addition of the G6PD inhibitor 6-aminonicotinamide (5, 15 μmol/L) in HepG2 cells dose-dependently inhibited the metabolism of DEM and TEST, whereas addition of the PPP activity stimulator menadione (1, 5, 15 μmol/L) dosedependently enhanced the metabolism.
Conclusion: Modulation of p53 and the PPP alters the metabolism of DEM and TEST, suggesting that the metabolic flux pattern of PPP may be closely involved in drug metabolism and the individual variance.
Keywords: drug metabolism; HepG2 cells; pentose phosphate pathway; G6PD; p53; CYP; testosterone; dextromethorphan; ketoconazole; quinidine; cyclic PFT-α; NSC 66811; 6-aminonicotinamide; menadione

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