CYP2C8-Mediated Formation of a Human Disproportionate Metabolite of the Selective NaV1.7 Inhibitor DS-1971a, a Mixed Cytochrome P450 and Aldehyde Oxidase Substrate

Drug Metab Dispos. 2022 Mar;50(3):235-242. doi: 10.1124/dmd.121.000665. Epub 2021 Dec 20.


Predicting human disproportionate metabolites is difficult, especially when drugs undergo species-specific metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450s (P450s) and/or non-P450 enzymes. This study assessed human metabolites of DS-1971a, a potent Nav1.7-selective blocker, by performing human mass balance studies and characterizing DS-1971a metabolites, in accordance with the Metabolites in Safety Testing guidance. In addition, we investigated the mechanism by which the major human disproportionate metabolite (M1) was formed. After oral administration of radiolabeled DS-1971a, the major metabolites in human plasma were P450-mediated monoxidized metabolites M1 and M2 with area under the curve ratios of 27% and 10% of total drug-related exposure, respectively; the minor metabolites were dioxidized metabolites produced by aldehyde oxidase and P450s. By comparing exposure levels of M1 and M2 between humans and safety assessment animals, M1 but not M2 was found to be a human disproportionate metabolite, requiring further characterization under the Metabolites in Safety Testing guidance. Incubation studies with human liver microsomes indicated that CYP2C8 was responsible for the formation of M1. Docking simulation indicated that, in the formation of M1 and M2, there would be hydrogen bonding and/or electrostatic interactions between the pyrimidine and sulfonamide moieties of DS-1971a and amino acid residues Ser100, Ile102, Ile106, Thr107, and Asn217 in CYP2C8, and that the cyclohexane ring of DS-1971a would be located near the heme iron of CYP2C8. These results clearly indicate that M1 is the predominant metabolite in humans and a human disproportionate metabolite due to species-specific differences in metabolism. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: This report is the first to show a human disproportionate metabolite generated by CYP2C8-mediated primary metabolism. We clearly demonstrate that DS-1971a, a mixed aldehyde oxidase and cytochrome P450 substrate, was predominantly metabolized by CYP2C8 to form M1, a human disproportionate metabolite. Species differences in the formation of M1 highlight the regio- and stereoselective metabolism by CYP2C8, and the proposed interaction between DS-1971a and CYP2C8 provides new knowledge of CYP2C8-mediated metabolism of cyclohexane-containing substrates.

MeSH terms

  • Aldehyde Oxidase* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8 / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines / metabolism
  • Sulfonamides* / metabolism


  • DS-1971a
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • Sulfonamides
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • CYP2C8 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8
  • Aldehyde Oxidase