Involvement of enzymes other than CYPs in the oxidative metabolism of xenobiotics

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2006 Dec;2(6):895-921. doi: 10.1517/17425255.2.6.895.


Although the majority of oxidative metabolic reactions are mediated by the CYP superfamily of enzymes, non-CYP-mediated oxidative reactions can play an important role in the metabolism of xenobiotics. The (major) oxidative enzymes, other than CYPs, involved in the metabolism of drugs and other xenobiotics are: the flavin-containing monooxygenases, the molybdenum hydroxylases (aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidase), the prostaglandin H synthase, the lipoxygenases, the amine oxidases (monoamine, polyamine, diamine and semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidases) and the alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases. In a similar manner to CYPs, these oxidative enzymes can also produce therapeutically active metabolites and reactive/toxic metabolites, modulate the efficacy of therapeutically active drugs or contribute to detoxification. Many of them have been shown to be important in endobiotic metabolism, and, consequently, interactions between drugs and endogenous compounds might occur when they are involved in drug metabolism. In general, most non-CYP oxidative enzymes appear to be noninducible or much less inducible than the CYP system, although some of them may be as inducible as some CYPs. Some of these oxidative enzymes exhibit polymorphic expression, as do some CYPs. It is possible that the contribution of non-CYP oxidative enzymes to the overall metabolism of xenobiotics is underestimated, as most investigations of drug metabolism in discovery and lead optimisation are performed using in vitro test systems optimised for CYP activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Detoxication, Phase I
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Xenobiotics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Oxidoreductases