Identification of human cytochrome P450 and flavin-containing monooxygenase enzymes involved in the metabolism of lorcaserin, a novel selective human 5-hydroxytryptamine 2C agonist

Drug Metab Dispos. 2012 Apr;40(4):761-71. doi: 10.1124/dmd.111.043414. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


Lorcaserin, a selective serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 2C receptor agonist, is being developed for weight management. The oxidative metabolism of lorcaserin, mediated by recombinant human cytochrome P450 (P450) and flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) enzymes, was examined in vitro to identify the enzymes involved in the generation of its primary oxidative metabolites, N-hydroxylorcaserin, 7-hydroxylorcaserin, 5-hydroxylorcaserin, and 1-hydroxylorcaserin. Human CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and FMO1 are major enzymes involved in N-hydroxylorcaserin; CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 are enzymes involved in 7-hydroxylorcaserin; CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4 are enzymes involved in 5-hydroxylorcaserin; and CYP3A4 is an enzyme involved in 1-hydroxylorcaserin formation. In 16 individual human liver microsomal preparations (HLM), formation of N-hydroxylorcaserin was correlated with CYP2B6, 7-hydroxylorcaserin was correlated with CYP2D6, 5-hydroxylorcaserin was correlated with CYP1A2 and CYP3A4, and 1-hydroxylorcaserin was correlated with CYP3A4 activity at 10.0 μM lorcaserin. No correlation was observed for N-hydroxylorcaserin with any P450 marker substrate activity at 1.0 μM lorcaserin. N-Hydroxylorcaserin formation was not inhibited by CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4 inhibitors at the highest concentration tested. Furafylline, quinidine, and ketoconazole, selective inhibitors of CYP1A2, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4, respectively, inhibited 5-hydroxylorcaserin (IC(50) = 1.914 μM), 7-hydroxylorcaserin (IC(50) = 0.213 μM), and 1-hydroxylorcaserin formation (IC(50) = 0.281 μM), respectively. N-Hydroxylorcaserin showed low and high K(m) components in HLM and 7-hydroxylorcaserin showed lower K(m) than 5-hydroxylorcaserin and 1-hydroxylorcaserin in HLM. The highest intrinsic clearance was observed for N-hydroxylorcaserin, followed by 7-hydroxylorcaserin, 5-hydroxylorcaserin, and 1-hydroxylorcaserin in HLM. Multiple human P450 and FMO enzymes catalyze the formation of four primary oxidative metabolites of lorcaserin, suggesting that lorcaserin has a low probability of drug-drug interactions by concomitant medications.

MeSH terms

  • Benzazepines / metabolism*
  • Benzazepines / pharmacology
  • Biotransformation
  • Catalysis
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Metabolic Detoxication, Phase I
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C / metabolism*
  • Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Agonists / metabolism*
  • Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Agonists / pharmacology


  • Benzazepines
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C
  • Serotonin 5-HT2 Receptor Agonists
  • lorcaserin
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Oxygenases
  • dimethylaniline monooxygenase (N-oxide forming)