Human flavin-containing monooxygenases

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2006:46:65-100. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.46.120604.141043.


This review summarizes recent information concerning the pharmacological and toxicological significance of the human flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO, EC The human FMO oxygenates nucleophilic heteroatom-containing chemicals and drugs and generally converts them into harmless, polar, readily excreted metabolites. Sometimes, however, FMO bioactivates chemicals into reactive materials that can cause toxicity. Most of the interindividual differences of FMO are due to genetic variability and allelic variation, and splicing variants may contribute to interindividual and interethnic variability observed for FMO-mediated metabolism. In contrast to cytochrome P450 (CYP), FMO is not easily induced nor readily inhibited, and potential adverse drug-drug interactions are minimized for drugs prominently metabolized by FMO. These properties may provide advantages in drug design and discovery, and by incorporating FMO detoxication pathways into drug candidates, more drug-like materials may be forthcoming. Although exhaustive examples are not available, physiological factors can influence FMO function, and this may have implications for the clinical significance of FMO and a role in human disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease
  • FMN Reductase / genetics
  • FMN Reductase / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • RNA Splicing
  • Species Specificity
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Isoenzymes
  • FMN Reductase