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

Bimodal distribution of renal cytochrome P450 3A activity in humans.

It has been proposed that excessive intrarenal conversion of cortisol to 6 beta-hydroxycortisol by CYP3A may mediate increased tubular reabsorption of sodium, leading to a state of mild volume expansion and the clinical phenotype of salt-sensitive hypertension. Therefore, we characterized CYP3A activity in a bank of microsomes from human kidneys using the formation of 1'-hydroxymidazolam (1'-OHM) as a prototypical CYP3A-catalyzed reaction. Maximal rates of metabolite formation occurred at midazolam concentrations of 12.5-50 microM; higher concentrations resulted in dramatic substrate inhibition. At 12.5 microM midazolam, 4 of 27 kidneys exhibited relatively high mean +/- standard deviation 1'-OHM formation rate (184.0 +/- 14.4 pmol/hr/mg) compared with the remaining 23 samples, which had a mean formation rate of (10.1 +/- 6.4 pmol/hr/mg). Triacetyloleandomycin and anti-CYP3A antibody inhibited midazolam hydroxylation by 53% and 57%, respectively. The correlation between CYP3A5 content, determined through immunoblotting, and 1'-OHM formation rate was high (r2 = 0.84, 24 experiments). The expressions of mRNA corresponding to CYP3A3, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and CYP3A7 were determined through polymerase chain reaction with specific oligonucleotides as primers. All kidneys examined (25 experiments) expressed CYP3A5 protein and contained the corresponding CYP3A5 mRNA. CYP3A4 mRNA was detected in 40% of the kidney samples, and 70% of those that contained detectable CYP3A4 mRNA also expressed detectable levels of the corresponding protein. Therefore, in contrast to hepatic tissue, in which CYP3A4 is universally expressed, CYP3A5 is the ubiquitously expressed member of the CYP3A family in renal tissue. The distribution of enzyme activity and protein content suggests bimodality and may represent induction of CYP3A5 in a select population and/or a genetically determined organ-specific pattern of expression.[1]


  1. Bimodal distribution of renal cytochrome P450 3A activity in humans. Haehner, B.D., Gorski, J.C., Vandenbranden, M., Wrighton, S.A., Janardan, S.K., Watkins, P.B., Hall, S.D. Mol. Pharmacol. (1996) [Pubmed]
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