Specificity of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and xenobiotic glucuronidation

Life Sci. 1995;57(20):1819-31. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(95)02073-r.


Several human liver UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) have been cloned and the cDNAs expressed in heterologous cell lines. This technological advance has allowed the assessment of the functional substrate specificity of these UGTs. The problems which may be encountered with the latency and assay of UGTs are briefly described. The data accumulated to date indicate that the Km, and possibly the Vmax/Km, for individual substrates are the best parameters to assess the specificity of the enzymes towards xenobiotic molecules. The substrate specificity of seven UGTs has been summarised from the currently available information. Of these, UGT1*02 and UGT2B8 appear to be key isoforms in the glucuronidation of a wide range of xenobiotic substrates. Additional UGTs have yet to be identified and characterised and their future inclusion may provide further insights. Finally, the functional role of each UGT in vivo has to be determined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glucuronates / metabolism
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism*


  • Glucuronates
  • Isoenzymes
  • Xenobiotics
  • Glucuronosyltransferase