Species differences in stereoselective hydrolase activity in intestinal mucosa

Pharm Res. 1998 Apr;15(4):626-31. doi: 10.1023/a:1011946314416.


Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate species differences in the stereoselective hydrolysis for propranolol ester prodrugs in mammalian intestinal mucosa and Caco-2 cells.

Methods: Hydrolase activities for propranolol prodrugs and p-nitrophenylacetate in man (age: 51-71 years), the beagle dog (age: 4 years) and Wistar rat (age: 8 weeks) intestinal mucosa, and also in Caco-2 cells (passage between 60-70) were estimated by determining the rate of production of proparanolol and p-nitrophenol, respectively.

Results: The hydrolase activities for both propranolol prodrugs and p-nitrophenylacetate were in the order of man > rat >> Caco-2 cells > dog for intestinal microsomes, and rat > Caco-2 cells = man > dog for intestinal cytosol. Dog microsomes showed stereoselective hydrolysis for propranolol prodrugs, but not those from human or rat. Interestingly, both subcellular fractions of Caco-2 cells showed remarkable R-enantioselectivity except acetyl propranolol. Enzyme kinetic experiments for each enantiomer of butyryl propranolol in microsomes revealed that dog possesses both low and high affinity hydrolases. Both Km and Vmax values in rat were largest among examined microsomes, while Vmax/Km was largest in man. Finally, it was shown that the carboxylesterases might contribute to the hydrolysis of propranolol prodrug in all species by inhibition experiments.

Conclusions: The hydrolase activities for propranolol prodrugs and p-nitrophenylacetate in intestinal mucosa showed great species differences and those in human intestine were closer to those of rat intestine than dog intestine or Caco-2 cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Dogs
  • Esters / chemistry
  • Esters / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Microsomes / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrophenols / chemistry
  • Nitrophenols / metabolism
  • Prodrugs / chemistry
  • Prodrugs / metabolism*
  • Propranolol / chemistry
  • Propranolol / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Species Specificity
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Esters
  • Nitrophenols
  • Prodrugs
  • 4-nitrophenyl acetate
  • Propranolol
  • Hydrolases
  • 4-nitrophenol