Cytochrome P450-mediated bioactivation of mefenamic acid to quinoneimine intermediates and inactivation by human glutathione S-transferases.Chem Res Toxicol. 2014 Dec 15; 27(12):2071-81.CR
Mefenamic acid (MFA) has been associated with rare but severe cases of hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, gastrointestinal toxicity, and hypersensitivity reactions that are believed to result from the formation of reactive metabolites. Although formation of protein-reactive acylating metabolites by phase II metabolism has been well-studied and proposed to be the cause of these toxic side effects, the oxidative bioactivation of MFA has not yet been competely characterized. In the present study, the oxidative bioactivation of MFA was studied using human liver microsomes (HLM) and recombinant human P450 enzymes. In addition to the major metabolite 3'-OH-methyl-MFA, resulting from the benzylic hydroxylation by CYP2C9, 4'-hydroxy-MFA and 5-hydroxy-MFA were identified as metabolites resulting from oxidative metabolism of both aromatic rings of MFA. In the presence of GSH, three GSH conjugates were formed that appeared to result from GSH conjugation of the two quinoneimines formed by further oxidation of 4'-hydroxy-MFA and 5-hydroxy-MFA. The major GSH conjugate was identified as 4'-OH-5'-glutathionyl-MFA and was formed at the highest activity by CYP1A2 and to a lesser extent by CYP2C9 and CYP3A4. Two minor GSH conjugates resulted from secondary oxidation of 5-hydroxy-MFA and were formed at the highest activity by CYP1A2 and to a lesser extent by CYP3A4. Additionally, the ability of seven human glutathione S-transferases (hGSTs) to catalyze the GSH conjugation of the quinoneimines formed by P450s was also investigated. The highest increase of total GSH conjugation was observed with hGSTP1-1, followed by hepatic hGSTs hGSTA2-2 and hGSTM1-1. The results of this study show that, next to phase II metabolites, reactive quinoneimines formed by oxidative bioactivation might also contribute to the idiosyncratic toxicity of MFA.