Oprozomib is an oral proteasome inhibitor currently under investigation in patients with hematologic malignancies or solid tumors. Oprozomib elicits potent pharmacological actions by forming a covalent bond with the active site N-terminal threonine of the 20S proteasome. Oprozomib has a short half-life across preclinical species and in patients due to systemic clearance via metabolism. Potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs) could alter the exposure of this potent therapeutic therefore a thorough investigation of pathways responsible for metabolism is required. In the present study, the major drug-metabolizing enzyme responsible for oprozomib metabolism was identified in vitro. A diol of oprozomib was found to be the predominant metabolite in human hepatocytes, which formed via direct epoxide hydrolysis. Using recombinant epoxide hydrolases (EHs) and selective EH inhibitors in liver microsomes, microsomal EH (mEH) but not soluble EH (sEH), was found to be responsible for oprozomib diol formation. Co-incubation with 2-nonylsulfanyl-propionamide, a selective mEH inhibitor, resulted in a significant decrease in oprozomib disappearance (>80%) with concurrent complete blockage of diol formation in human hepatocytes. On the contrary, a selective sEH inhibitor did not affect oprozomib metabolism. Pre-treatment of hepatocytes with the pan-CYP inhibitor 1-aminobenzotriazole resulted in a modest reduction (~20%) of oprozomib metabolism. These findings indicated that mEH plays a predominant role in oprozomib metabolism. Further studies may be warranted to determine whether drugs that are mEH inhibitors cause clinically significant DDIs with oprozomib. On the other hand, pharmacokinetics of oprozomib is unlikely to be affected by co-administered CYP and sEH inhibitors and/or inducers.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics