Species differences in metabolism of EPZ015666, an oxetane-containing protein arginine methyltransferase-5 (PRMT5) inhibitor

Xenobiotica. 2016;46(3):268-77. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2015.1072253.


1. Metabolite profiling and identification studies were conducted to understand the cross-species differences in the metabolic clearance of EPZ015666, a first-in-class protein arginine methyltransferase-5 (PRMT5) inhibitor, with anti-proliferative effects in preclinical models of Mantle Cell Lymphoma. EPZ015666 exhibited low clearance in human, mouse and rat liver microsomes, in part by introduction of a 3-substituted oxetane ring on the molecule. In contrast, a higher clearance was observed in dog liver microsomes (DLM) that translated to a higher in vivo clearance in dog compared with rodent. 2. Structure elucidation via high resolution, accurate mass LC-MS(n) revealed that the prominent metabolites of EPZ015666 were present in hepatocytes from all species, with the highest turnover rate in dogs. M1 and M2 resulted from oxidative oxetane ring scission, whereas M3 resulted from loss of the oxetane ring via an N-dealkylation reaction. 3. The formation of M1 and M2 in DLM was significantly abrogated in the presence of the specific CYP2D inhibitor, quinidine, and to a lesser extent by the CYP3A inhibitor, ketoconazole, corroborating data from human recombinant isozymes. 4. Our data indicate a marked species difference in the metabolism of the PRMT5 inhibitor EPZ015666, with oxetane ring scission the predominant metabolic pathway in dog mediated largely by CYP2D.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics*
  • Ethers, Cyclic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Ketoconazole / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Quinidine / pharmacokinetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Species Specificity


  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Ethers, Cyclic
  • GSK3235025
  • Isoquinolines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases
  • oxetane
  • Quinidine
  • Ketoconazole