Purpose: To assess the uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) isozymes involved in the glucuronidation of niflumic acid in human liver.
Methods: The glucuronidation activity of niflumic acid was determined in liver microsomes and recombinant UGT isozymes by incubation of niflumic acid with UDP-glucuronic acid (UDPGA).
Results: Incubation of niflumic acid with liver microsomes and UDPGA produced one peak, which was identified as a glucuronide from mass spectrometric analysis. A study involving a panel of recombinant human UGT isozymes showed that glucuronidation activity was highest in UGT1A1 among the isozymes investigated. The glucuronidation in human liver microsomes (HLMs) followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a Km value of 16 microM, which is similar to that found with recombinant UGT1A1. The glucuronidation activity of niflumic acid in microsomes from eight human livers significantly correlated with UGT1A1-catalyzed estradiol 3beta-glucuronidation activity (r=0.78, p<0.05). Beta-estradiol inhibited niflumic acid glucuronidation with an IC50 of 25 microM in HLMs, comparable to that for UGT1A1.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that UGT1A1 is the main isozyme involved in the glucuronidation of niflumic acid in the human liver.