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Verapamil. New insight into the molecular mechanism of drug oxidation in the human heart

: Walles, M.; Thum, T.; Levsen, K.; Borlak, J.


Journal of chromatography. A 970 (2002), Nr.1-2, S.117-130
ISSN: 0021-9673
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
drug oxidation; heart; Verapamil; Cytochrome P-450

Verapamil is a commonly prescribed cardiovascular drug, but surprisingly its metabolism in the target tissue of pharmacotherapy is basically unknown. We therefore investigated its biotransformation in human heart tissue and correlate the production of metabolites with the gene expression of major drug metabolising enzymes. Using electrospray LC-MS-MS and LC-MS3 experiments, a total of nine metabolites were observed in incubation experiments with verapamil and microsomes isolated from the human heart tissue, and this included a carbinolamine-, N-formyl-, ahemiacetale-, and formate-intermediate of N-demethyl- and O-demethylverapamil. We also observed a hydroxylation product at the benzylic position of atom C-7 (M9). Metabolites M5-M9 are novel and were not observed in previous studies with liver or other human tissues. A fine example of the considerable metabolic competence of human heart is the formation of M1-M4, e.g. dealkylverapamil, norverapamil and isomers of O-demethylverapamil, which were believed to be exclusively produced by the liver.