Evidence for involvement of polymorphic CYP2C19 and 2C9 in the N-demethylation of sertraline in human liver microsomes

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1999 Sep;48(3):416-23. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1999.00023.x.


Aims: The present study was designed to define the kinetic behaviour of sertraline N-demethylation in human liver microsomes and to identify the isoforms of cytochrome P450 involved in this metabolic pathway.

Methods: The kinetics of the formation of N-demethylsertraline were determined in human liver microsomes from six genotyped CYP2C19 extensive (EM) and three poor metabolisers (PM). Selective inhibitors of and specific monoclonal antibodies to various cytochrome P450 isoforms were also employed.

Results: The kinetics of N-demethylsertraline formation in all EM liver microsomes were fitted by a two-enzyme Michaelis-Menten equation, whereas the kinetics in all PM liver microsomes were best described by a single-enzyme Michaelis-Menten equation similar to the low-affinity component found in EM microsomes. Mean apparent Km values for the high-and low-affinity components were 1.9 and 88 microm and V max values were 33 and 554 pmol min-1 mg-1 protein, respectively, in the EM liver microsomes. Omeprazole (a CYP2C19 substrate) at high concentrations and sulphaphenazole (a selective inhibitor of CYP2C9) substantially inhibited N-demethylsertraline formation. Of five monoclonal antibodies to various cytochrome P450 forms tested, only anti-CYP2C8/9/19 had any inhibitory effect on this reaction. The inhibition of sertraline N-demethylation by anti-CYP2C8/9/19 was greater in EM livers than in PM livers at both low and high substrate concentrations. However, anti-CYP2C8/9/19 did not abolish the formation of N-demethylsertraline in the microsomes from any of the livers.

Conclusions: The polymorphic enzyme CYP2C19 catalyses the high-affinity N-demethylation of sertraline, while CYP2C9 is one of the low-affinity components of this metabolic pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / immunology
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Methylation
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / immunology
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Sertraline / analogs & derivatives
  • Sertraline / metabolism*
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase*
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / genetics*
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / immunology
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • desmethylsertraline
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • CYP2C9 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C9
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP2C19 protein, human
  • CYP2C8 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Sertraline