Mechanism-based inactivation of human cytochrome P450 enzymes: strategies for diagnosis and drug-drug interaction risk assessment

Xenobiotica. 2007 Oct-Nov;37(10-11):1225-56. doi: 10.1080/00498250701670945.


Among drugs that cause pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions, mechanism-based inactivators of cytochrome P450 represent several of those agents that cause interactions of the greatest magnitude. In vitro inactivation kinetic data can be used to predict the potential for new drugs to cause drug interactions in the clinic. However, several factors exist, each with its own uncertainty, that must be taken into account in order to predict the magnitude of interactions reliably. These include aspects of in vitro experimental design, an understanding of relevant in vivo concentrations of the inactivator, and the extent to which the inactivated enzyme is involved in the clearance of the affected drug. Additionally, the rate of enzyme degradation in vivo is also an important factor that needs to be considered in the prediction of the drug interaction magnitudes. To address mechanism-based inactivation for new drugs, various in vitro experimental approaches have been employed. The selection of approaches for in vitro kinetic characterization of inactivation as well as in vitro-in vivo extrapolation should be guided by the purpose of the exercise and the stage of drug discovery and development, with an increase in the level of sophistication throughout the research and development process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors*
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Biological
  • Risk Assessment
  • Xenobiotics / adverse effects


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Xenobiotics