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Application of hepatic cytochrome b5/P450 reductase null (HBRN) mice to study the role of cytochrome b5 in the cytochrome P450-mediated bioactivation of the anticancer drug ellipticine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lindsay Reed, Radek Indra, Iveta Mrizova, Michaela Moserova, Heinz H Schmeiser, C Roland Wolf, Colin J Henderson, Marie Stiborova, David H Phillips, Volker M Arlt

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Early online date24 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

King's Authors


The anticancer drug ellipticine exerts its genotoxic effects after metabolic activation by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. The present study has examined the role of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (POR) and cytochrome b5 (Cyb5), electron donors to P450 enzymes, in the CYP-mediated metabolism and disposition of ellipticine in vivo. We used Hepatic Reductase Null (HRN) and Hepatic Cytochrome b5/P450 Reductase Null (HBRN) mice. HRN mice have POR deleted specifically in hepatocytes; HBRN mice also have Cyb5 deleted in the liver. Mice were treated once with 10 mg/kg body weight ellipticine (n = 4/group) for 24 h. Ellipticine-DNA adduct levels measured by 32P-postlabelling were significantly lower in HRN and HBRN livers than in wild-type (WT) livers; however no significant difference was observed between HRN and HBRN livers. Ellipticine-DNA adduct formation in WT, HRN and HBRN livers correlated with Cyp1a and Cyp3a enzyme activities measured in hepatic microsomes in the presence of NADPH confirming the importance of P450 enzymes in the bioactivation of ellipticine in vivo. Hepatic microsomal fractions were also utilised in incubations with ellipticine and DNA in the presence of NADPH, cofactor for POR, and NADH, cofactor for Cyb5 reductase (Cyb5R), to examine ellipticine-DNA adduct formation. With NADPH adduct formation decreased as electron donors were lost which correlated with the formation of the reactive metabolites 12- and 13-hydroxy-ellipticine in hepatic microsomes. No difference in adduct formation was observed in the presence of NADH. Our study demonstrates that Cyb5 contributes to the P450-mediated bioactivation of ellipticine in vitro, but not in vivo.

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