Human hepatic CYP2B6 developmental expression: the impact of age and genotype

Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 Jul 15;78(2):184-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2009.03.029. Epub 2009 Apr 5.


Although CYP2B6 is known to metabolize numerous pharmaceuticals and toxicants in adults, little is known regarding CYP2B6 ontogeny or its possible role in pediatric drug/toxicant metabolism. To address this knowledge gap, hepatic CYP2B6 protein levels were characterized in microsomal protein preparations isolated from a pediatric liver bank (N=217). Donor ages ranged from 10 weeks gestation to 17 years of age with a median age of 1.9 months. CYP2B6 levels were measured by semi-quantitative western blotting. Overall, CYP2B6 expression was detected in 75% of samples. However, the percentage of samples with detectable CYP2B6 protein increased with age from 64% in fetal samples to 95% in samples from donors >10 years of age. There was a significant, but only 2-fold increase in median CYP2B6 expression after the neonatal period (birth to 30 days postnatal) although protein levels varied over 25-fold in both age groups. The median CYP2B6 level in samples over 30 postnatal days to 17 years of age (1.3 pmol/mg microsomal protein) was lower than previously reported adult levels (2.2-22 pmol/mg microsomal protein), however, this likely relates to the median age of these samples, i.e., 10.3 months. CYP2B6 expression did not vary significantly by gender. Furthermore, CYP2B6 levels did not correlate with CYP3A4, CYP3A5.1 or CYP3A7 activity, consistent with different mechanisms controlling the ontogeny and constitutive expression of these enzymes and the lack of significant induction in the pediatric samples.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / biosynthesis*
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / chemistry
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / biosynthesis*
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / genetics*


  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP2B6 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2B6
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating