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Publication Detail

Title: In Vitro Biotransformation of the Nrf2 Activator Bardoxolone: Formation of an Epoxide Metabolite That Undergoes Two Novel Glutathione-Mediated Metabolic Pathways: Epoxide Reduction and Oxidative Elimination of Nitrile Moiety.

Authors: Kamel, Amin M; Bowlin, Stephen; Anwar, Ban; Reichard, Holly; Argus, Joe; Blair, Ian A

Published In Chem Res Toxicol, (2019 11 18)

Abstract: Metabolism of bardoxolone methyl (BARD-Me), an oleanolic acid derivative, and its epoxide metabolite was studied in different in vitro systems. BARD-Me also undergoes glutathione (GSH)-adduct formation via direct nucleophilic attack at the β-carbon of the α,β-unsaturated ketone substituent on the A-ring. The presence of an electron-withdrawing nitrile residue on the α-carbon increases the α,β-unsaturated ketone's susceptibility to nucleophilic attack by thiols. This allows BARD-Me to generate reversible adducts with the thiol groups of cysteine residues in target proteins without the potential toxic liabilities of irreversible covalent adduct formation. However, BARD-Me epoxide can also react with thiols irreversibly. Therefore, the epoxide was synthesized and its metabolic fate studied in vitro. BARD-Me epoxide was found to undergo two novel metabolic biotransformations: epoxide reduction and oxidative elimination of nitrile moiety. Both metabolic pathways proceed via nucleophilic attack of the thiol group of GSH at each of the two carbon atoms of the epoxide as evidenced by the formation of two β-hydroxy sulfide regioisomers. Oxidative elimination of nitrile moiety proceeds via nucleophilic attack of the thiol group of GSH at the epoxide carbon atom that is β to the cyano group to give a cyanohydrin metabolite, which spontaneously decomposes to release cyanide and the corresponding ketone. Nucleophilic attack of the thiol group of GSH at the epoxide carbon atom that is α to the cyano group results in the formation of the GSH monoadduct that undergoes intermolecular reduction with another GSH molecule, followed by elimination of oxidized GSH (GS-SG) and the formation of an enolate intermediate. Upon protonation, the enolate intermediate gives rise to hydroxylated BARD-Me, which is readily converted back to BARD-Me through the elimination of water. The chemical reactivity of the epoxide metabolite and the liberation of cyanide are of significant toxicological interest for the potential utility of BARD-Me as a therapeutic agent.

PubMed ID: 31613099 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Biotransformation; Cytosol/metabolism; Epoxy Compounds/metabolism*; Glutathione/metabolism*; Hepatocytes/metabolism; Humans; Microsomes, Liver/metabolism; NF-E2-Related Factor 2; Nitriles/metabolism; Oleanolic Acid/analogs & derivatives*; Oleanolic Acid/metabolism; Oxidation-Reduction

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