Selectivity for inhibition of nilotinib on the catalytic activity of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases

Xenobiotica. 2014 Apr;44(4):320-5. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2013.840750. Epub 2013 Sep 25.


1. Nilotinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, could potently inhibit SN-38 glucuronidation mainly catalyzed by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1. This study was designed to investigate whether nilotinib can be used as a selective inhibitor of UGT1A1 in human liver. 2. Assays with recombinant UGTs indicated that nilotinib could strongly inhibit the activity of UGT1A1 and decreased the activity of extra-hepatic UGT1A7 to a much lesser extent. The inhibition on 4-methylumbelliferone (4Mu) glucuronidation by recombinant UGT1A1 obeyed competitive inhibition mechanism, with a kinetic constants (Ki) value of 0.17 μM. Assays with human liver microsomes (HLM) demonstrated that nilotinib could selectively inhibit estradiol-3-O-glucuronidation (E2-3-O-glucuronidation), a probe reaction of UGT1A1. Kinetic studies displayed that the inhibition on E2-3-O-glucuronidation followed non-competitive inhibition model, different from the inhibition on 4Mu glucuronidation. The Ki values were calculated to be 0.14 and 0.53 μM, depending on the enzyme sources of recombinant UGT1A1 or HLM, respectively. 3. Given that UGT1A7 is an extra-hepatic enzyme, this study indicates that nilotinib can be used as a selective inhibitor of UGT1A1 in human liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Glucuronides / metabolism
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Pyrimidines / chemistry*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • 4-methyl-N-(3-(4-methylimidazol-1-yl)-5-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-3-((4-pyridin-3-ylpyrimidin-2-yl)amino)benzamide
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glucuronides
  • Pyrimidines
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • UGT1A1 enzyme
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • UGT1A7 protein, human