Amino acid adduct formation by the nevirapine metabolite, 12-hydroxynevirapine--a possible factor in nevirapine toxicity.Chem Res Toxicol. 2010 May 17; 23(5):888-99.CR
Nevirapine (NVP) is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor used against the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), mostly to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus in developing countries. However, reports of severe NVP-induced hepatotoxicity and serious adverse cutaneous effects have raised concerns about its use. NVP metabolism involves oxidation of the 4-methyl substituent to 4-hydroxymethyl-NVP (12-hydroxy-NVP) and the formation of phenolic derivatives. Further metabolism, through either oxidation to quinoid derivatives or phase II esterification, may produce electrophilic derivatives capable of reacting with bionucleophiles to yield covalent adducts. These adducts could potentially be involved in the initiation of toxic responses. To gain insight into potentially reactive sites in proteins and prepare reliable and fully characterized NVP-amino acid adduct standards for subsequent assessment as biomarkers of NVP toxicity, we have used the model electrophile, 12-mesyloxy-NVP, as a synthetic surrogate for the NVP metabolite, 12-sulfoxy-NVP. Reactions of this model ester were conducted with glutathione and the nucleophilic amino acids arginine, cysteine, histidine, and tryptophan. Moreover, because adducts through the N-terminal valine of hemoglobin are convenient biomarkers of exposure to electrophilic toxicants, we also investigated the reaction with valine. We obtained very efficient (>80%) binding through the sulfur of both glutathione and N-acetylcysteine and moderate yields (10-14%) for binding through C2 of the indole ring of tryptophan and N1 of the imidazole ring of histidine. Reaction with arginine occurred through the alpha-amino group, possibly due to the high basicity of the guanidino group in the side chain. Reaction at the alpha-amino group of valine occurred to a significant extent (33%); the resulting adduct was converted to a thiohydantoin derivative, to obtain a standard useful for prospective biomonitoring studies. All adducts were characterized by a combination of (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry techniques. The NVP conjugates with glutathione and N-acetylcysteine identified in this work were previously reported to be formed in vivo, although the corresponding structures were not fully characterized. Our results support the validity of 12-mesyloxy-NVP as a surrogate for 12-sulfoxy-NVP and suggest that NVP metabolism to 12-hydroxy-NVP, and subsequent esterification, could potentially be a factor in NVP toxicity. They further imply that multiple sites in proteins may be targets for modification by 12-hydroxy-NVP-derived electrophiles in vivo. Additionally, we obtained reliable, fully characterized standards for the assessment of protein modification by NVP in vivo, which should help clarify the potential role of metabolism in NVP-induced toxicity.