Characterization of cytochrome P450 3A inactivation by cannabidiol: possible involvement of cannabidiol-hydroxyquinone as a P450 inactivator

Chem Res Toxicol. 1998 Oct;11(10):1209-16. doi: 10.1021/tx9800598.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major constituent of marijuana and a potent inhibitor of P450-mediated hepatic drug metabolism. Mouse P450 3A11 metabolism of [14C]CBD resulted in the formation of radiolabeled P450, which after digestion with lysyl endopeptidase C (Lys-C) and HPLC resolution of peptides, revealed one major broadly eluting peak of radioactivity. Electrophoresis/autoradiography of this peak identified several peptide bands, one of which was predominantly radiolabeled and had an apparent molecular mass of approximately 6 kDa. Amino-terminal sequence determination of this band revealed the presence of two peptides whose sequences identified them as Ala344-Lys379 and Gly426-Lys454. To characterize the reactive species that may be generated during P450 3A11-catalyzed CBD metabolism, reduced glutathione (GSH) was used as a trapping agent for possible electrophilic metabolites. Incubation of P450 3A11 in the presence of cofactors NADPH, CBD, and [3H]GSH resulted in the formation of a radiolabeled product which was absent in incubations lacking any of the cofactors. The UV absorption spectra of this compound indicated absorbances at approximately 220, 275, and 350 nm, and mass spectral analysis revealed prominent ions at m/z 634, 599, 505, 402, and 359, ions consistent with that of a GSH adduct of CBD-hydroxyquinone. A synthetic CBD-hydroxyquinone-GSH adduct was also prepared and had UV absorption and mass spectra nearly identical to that of the P450-mediated CBD-GSH adduct. CBD-hydroxyquinone formation may be the penultimate oxidative step involved in CBD-mediated modification and inactivation of P450 3A11.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases*
  • Binding Sites
  • Cannabidiol / metabolism
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Hydroquinones / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hydroquinones
  • Cannabidiol
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating
  • Glutathione
  • hydroquinone