Identification of cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in the metabolism of zotepine, an antipsychotic drug, in human liver microsomes

Xenobiotica. 1999 Mar;29(3):217-29. doi: 10.1080/004982599238623.


1. Studies using human liver microsomes and recombinant human cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes and flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) were performed to identify the enzymes responsible for the formation of zotepine metabolites in man. 2. Human liver microsomes produced four metabolites and a tentative order of importance was: norzotepine, 3-hydroxyzotepine, zotepine S-oxide and 2-hydroxyzotepine. Zotepine N-oxide was also detected, but it could not be quantified. 3. The rates of formation of the major metabolite, norzotepine, and zotepine S-oxide (at a substrate concentration of 20 microM) were significantly correlated with the testosterone 6beta-hydroxylase activities and CYP3A4 contents of the 12 different human liver microsomal samples. Inhibition studies with P450 enzyme selective inhibitors and anti-rat CYP3A2 antibodies also indicated a predominant role of CYP3A4 in the formation of norzotepine and zotepine S-oxide. Furafylline and sulphaphenazole inhibited the N-demethylation of zotepine by up to approximately 30%. 4. Correlation and inhibition data for the 2- and 3-hydroxylation of zotepine were consistent with the predominant role of CYP1A2 and 2D6 in the formation of these metabolites, respectively. 5. Recombinant CYP1A1, 1A2, 2B6, 2C19, 3A4 and 3A5 efficiently catalysed N-demethylation of zotepine. CYP1A1, 1A2, 2B6 and 3A4 were also active for S-oxidation. CYP1A2 and 2D6*1-Val374 efficiently produced 2-hydroxyzotepine and 3-hydroxyzotepine, respectively. Recombinant human FMO3 did not catalyse zotepine S-oxidation. 6. These results suggest that both the N-demethylation and S-oxidation of zotepine are mediated mainly by CYP3A4, and that CYP1A2 and 2D6 play an important role in the 2- and 3-hydroxylation of zotepine, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / immunology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Dibenzothiepins / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera / pharmacology
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes / immunology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Ketoconazole / pharmacology
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Quinidine / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Theophylline / analogs & derivatives
  • Theophylline / pharmacology


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Dibenzothiepins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Immune Sera
  • Isoenzymes
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Theophylline
  • furafylline
  • Quinidine
  • Ketoconazole
  • zotepine