Purpose: Recently, it was reported that the apparent Michaelis-Menten constant (Km(app)) of a P-glycoprotein (P-gp) substrate, defined for the extracellular substrate concentration, increases as the P-gp expression level in the cell increases. By its nature, the Km value should not depend on the level of P-gp expression. The purpose of this study is to establish a model which can estimate the Km value independent of the P-gp expression level in cells.
Methods: The previously reported concentration-dependent permeability of verapamil, quinidine, and vinblastine in MDR1-MDCKII, P-gp-highly induced Caco-2, P-gp-induced Caco-2, normal Caco-2, and MDR1-knockdown Caco-2 cells data were analyzed using a model in which the Km value was defined for the intracellular substrate concentration.
Results: The estimated Km values defined for the substrate concentration inside the cells were almost the same among various cells with different levels of P-gp expression. The estimated Vmax values were approximately proportional to the P-gp expression level.
Conclusion: The established kinetic model was found to be rational based on the results that the Km values of P-gp substrates were about the same for cells expressing various levels of P-gp, while the Vmax values were proportional to the expression levels of P-gp.