o-Quinone forming estrogens and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) have been associated with carcinogenesis. LY2066948, a novel SERM in development by Eli Lilly for the treatment of uterine fibroids and myomas, has structural similarity to the equine estrogen equilenin present in hormone replacement formulations; both contain a naphthol group susceptible to oxidative metabolism to o-quinones. LY2066948 was synthesized and assayed for antiestrogenic activity, and in cell culture was confirmed to be a more potent antiestrogen than the prototypical SERM, 4-hydroxytamoxifen. Oxidation of LY2066948 with 2-iodoxybenzoic acid gave an o-quinone (t 1/2 = 3.9 ± 0.1 h) which like 4-hydroxyequilenin-o-quinone (t 1/2 = 2.5 ± 0.2 h) was observed to be exceptionally long-lived with the potential to cause cytotoxicity and/or genotoxicity. In model reactions with tyrosinase, the catechol metabolites of LY2066948 and equilenin were products; interestingly, in the presence of ascorbate to inhibit autoxidation, these catechols were formed quantitatively. Tyrosinase incubations in the presence of GSH gave the expected GSH conjugates resulting from trapping of the o-quinones, which were characterized by LC-MS/MS. Incubations of LY2066948 or equilenin with rat liver microsomes also gave detectable o-quinone trapped GSH conjugates; however, as observed with other SERMs, oxidative metabolism of LY2066948 mainly occurred on the amino side chain to yield the N-dealkylated metabolite. CYP1B1 is believed to be responsible for extra-hepatic generation of genotoxic estrogen quinones and o-quinone GSH conjugates were detected in equilenin incubations. However, in corresponding incubations with CYP1B1 supersomes, no o-quinone GSH conjugates of LY2066948 were detected. These studies suggest that although the naphthol group is susceptible to oxidative metabolism to long-lived o-quinones, the formation of these quinones by cytochrome P450 can be attenuated by the chemistry of the remainder of the molecule as in the case of LY2066948.
- Cytochrome P450
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