Complementary DNA cloning, functional expression and characterization of a novel cytochrome P450, CYP2D50, from equine liver

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Members of the CYP2D family constitute only about 2-4% of total hepatic CYP450s, however, they are responsible for the metabolism of 20-25% of commonly prescribed therapeutic compounds. CYP2D enzymes have been identified in a number of different species. However, vast differences in the metabolic activity of these enzymes have been well documented. In the horse, the presence of a member of the CYP2D family has been suggested from studies with equine liver microsomes, however its presence has not been definitively proven. In this study a cDNA encoding a novel CYP2D enzyme (CYP2D50) was cloned from equine liver and expressed in a baculovirus expression system. The nucleotide sequence of CYP2D50 was highly homologous to that of human CYP2D6 and therefore the activity of the enzyme was characterized using dextromethorphan and debrisoquine, two isoform selective substrates for the human orthologue. CYP2D50 displayed optimal catalytic activity with dextromethorphan using molar ratios of CYP2D50 to NADPH CYP450 reductase of 1:15. Although CYP2D50 and CYP2D6 shared significant sequence homology, there were striking differences in the catalytic activity between the two enzymes. CYP2D50 dextromethorphan-O-demethylase activity was nearly 180-fold slower than the human counterpart, CYP2D6. Similarly, rates of formation of 4-hydroxydebrisoquine activity were 50-fold slower for CYP2D50 compared to CYP2D6. The results of this study demonstrate substantial interspecies variability in metabolism of substrates by CYP2D orthologues in the horse and human and support the need to fully characterize this enzyme system in equids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008


  • CYP2D
  • CYP450
  • Debrisoquine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Horse
  • Phase I metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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