An important role of human cytochrome P450s (P450s) has been well recognized in the area of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. It has become possible in recent years to express catalytically active forms of these enzymes in various host systems. The resulting recombinant human P450s are either purified for studies of protein structure and the mechanism of catalysis or isolated in microsomal forms to serve the purposes of P450 phenotyping, metabolic stability screening and inhibitory potential evaluation. Intact mammalian cells expressing human enzymes may also be used to test the mutagenic and toxicity potential of drug candidates. The issue remains, however, that the data derived from recombinant P450s are not always consistent with those generated from human tissue preparations. The aim of this communication is to discuss applications of recombinant P450s in the drug discovery and development setting, with an emphasis on comparison of recombinant and human liver microsomal systems.
Keywords: cytochrome p, recombinant, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, liver microsomes
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