In vivo antitumor activity and host toxicity of methoxymorpholinyl doxorubicin: Role of cytochrome P450 3A

Luigi Quintieri, Antonio Rosato, Eleonora Napoli, Francesco Sola, Cristina Geroni, Maura Floreani, Paola Zanovello

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Methoxymorpholinyl doxorubicin (MMDX; PNU 152243) is a promising doxorubicin derivative currently undergoing clinical evaluation. Previous in vitro studies suggested that the compound undergoes hepatic biotransformation by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A into a more cytotoxic metabolite(s). The present study examined the role of CYP3A-mediated metabolism in the in vivo antitumor activity and host toxicity of MMDX in the mouse model and investigated the potential for increasing the therapeutic effectiveness of the drug by inducing its hepatic CYP-catalyzed activation. We found that MMDX cytotoxicity for cultured M5076 tumor cells was potentiated 22-fold by preincubating the drug with NADPH-supplemented liver microsomes from untreated C57BL/6 female mice. A greater (50-fold) potentiation of MMDX cytotoxicity was observed after its preincubation with liver microsomes isolated from animals pretreated with the prototypical CYP3A inducer pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile. In contrast, in vivo administration of the selective CYP3A inhibitor troleandomycin (TAO) reduced both potentiation of MMDX cytotoxicity and the rate of CYP3A-catalyzed N-demethylation of erythromycin by isolated liver microsomes (55.5 and 49% reduction, respectively). In vivo antitumor activity experiments revealed that TAO completely suppressed the ability of 90 μg/kg MMDX i.v., a dose close to the LD10, to delay growth of s.c. M5076 tumors in C57BL/6 mice and to prolong survival of DBA/2 mice with disseminated L1210 leukemia. Moreover, TAO administration markedly inhibited the therapeutic efficacy of 90 μg/kg MMDX i.v. in mice bearing experimental M5076 liver metastases; a complete loss of MMDX activity was observed in liver metastases-bearing animals receiving 40 μg/kg MMDX i.v. plus TAO. However, pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile pretreatment failed to enhance MMDX activity in mice bearing either s.c, M5076 tumors or experimental M5076 liver metastases. Additional experiments carried out in healthy C57BL/6 mice showed that TAO markedly inhibited MMDX- induced myelosuppression and protected the animals against lethal doses of MMDX. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that an active metabolite(s) of MMDX synthesized via CYP3A contributes significantly to its in vivo antitumor activity and host toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3232-3238
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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