Human CYP2C8 is a key member of the CYP2C family and metabolizes more than 60 clinical drugs. A number of active site residues in CYP2C8 have been identified based on homology modeling and site-directed mutagenesis studies. In the structure of CYP2C8, the large active site cavity exhibits a trifurcated topology that approximates a T or Y shape, which is consistent with the finding that CYP2C8 can efficiently oxidize relatively large substrates such as paclitaxel and cerivastatin. The active site cavity of CYP2C8 contains at least 48 amino acid residues and many of them are important for substrate binding. The structures of CYP2C8 in complex with distinct ligands have revealed that the enzyme can bind divergent substrates and inhibitors without extensive conformational changes. CYP2C8 is a major catalyst in the metabolism of paclitaxel, amodiaquine, troglitazone, amiodarone, verapamil and ibuprofen, with a secondary role in the biotransformation of cerivastatin and fluvastatin. CYP2C8 also metabolises endogenous compounds such as retinoids and arachidonic acid. Many drugs are inhibitors of CYP2C8 and inhibition of this enzyme may result in clinical drug interactions. The pregnane X receptor, constitutive androstane receptor, and glucocorticoid receptor are likely to involve the regulation of CYP2C8. A number of genetic mutations in the CYP2C8 gene have been identified in humans and some of them have functional impact on the clearance of drugs. Further studies are needed to delineate the role of CYP2C8 in drug development and clinical practice.
Keywords: CYP2C8, structure, substrate, inhibitor, active site, regulation
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