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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effect of incubation conditions on the enzyme kinetics of udp-glucuronosyltransferases.

Traditionally, the Michaelis-Menten equation has been used to determine kinetic parameters for in vitro glucuronidation assays. Recently, estradiol-3-glucuronide formation was shown to exhibit non-Michaelis-Menten kinetics consistent with autoactivation. A concern with the observation of nontraditional kinetics is that they may result as an artifact of the incubation conditions. To examine this concern, the formation of estradiol-3-glucuronide was investigated using human liver microsomes prepared by two different methods, a range of assay conditions, and activation by alamethecin, sonication, or Brij 58 (polyoxyethylene monocetyl ether). Interestingly, holding the other assay components constant, estradiol-3-glucuronide formation was up to 2.5-fold greater using microsomes prepared in phosphate buffer compared with those prepared in sucrose. Incubations activated by alamethecin consistently exhibited the highest rates of estradiol glucuronidation versus the other activators. Furthermore, estradiol-3-glucuronidation exhibited autoactivation kinetics in all of the conditions investigated (n = 1.2-1.7). Nontraditional kinetics were also observed when other UGT1A1 substrates such as ethinylestradiol, buprenorphine, and anthraflavic acid were studied with both human liver microsomes and recombinant UGT1A1. Naphthol, propofol, morphine, and androstanediol were used as probe UGT substrates selective for UGT1A6, UGT1A9, UGT2B7, and UGT2B15, respectively. Of these substrates, only androstanediol exhibited nontraditional kinetics using human liver microsomes. In conclusion, the Hill and/or Michaelis-Menten equations should be used to fit kinetic data to obtain an accurate assessment of in vitro glucuronidation.[1]


  1. The effect of incubation conditions on the enzyme kinetics of udp-glucuronosyltransferases. Soars, M.G., Ring, B.J., Wrighton, S.A. Drug Metab. Dispos. (2003) [Pubmed]
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