Quantitation of human cytochrome P450 2D6 protein with immunoblot and mass spectrometry analysis

Aiming Yu, Jun Qu, Melanie A. Felmlee, Jin Cao, Xi Ling Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Accurate quantification of cytochrome P450 (P450) protein contents is essential for reliable assessment of drug safety, including the prediction of in vivo clearance from in vitro metabolism data, which may be hampered by the use of uncharacterized standards and existence of unknown allelic isozymes. Therefore, this study aimed to delineate the variability in absolute quantification of polymorphic CYP2D6 drug-metabolizing enzyme and compare immunoblot and nano liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (nano-LC/MS) methods in identification and relative quantification of CYP2D6.1 and CYP2D6.2 allelic isozymes. Holoprotein content of in-house purified CYP2D6 isozymes was determined according to carbon monoxide difference spectrum, and total protein was quantified with bicinchoninic acid protein assay. Holoprotein/total CYP2D6 protein ratio was markedly higher for purified CYP2D6.1 (71.0%) than that calculated for CYP2D6.1 Supersomes (35.5%), resulting in distinct linear calibration range (0.05-0.50 versus 0.025-0.25 pmol) that was determined by densitometric analysis of immunoblot bands. Likewise, purified CYP2D6.2 and CYP2D6.10 and the CYP2D6.10 Supersomes all showed different holoprotein/total CYP2D6 protein ratios and distinct immunoblot linear calibration ranges. In contrast to immunoblot, nano-LC/MS readily distinguished CYP2D6.2 (R296C and S486T) from CYP2D6.1 by isoformspecific proteolytic peptides that contain the altered amino acid residues. In addition, relative quantitation of the two allelic isozymes was successfully achieved with label-free protein quantification, consistent with the nominated ratio. Because immunoblot and nano-LC/MS analyses measure total P450 protein (holoprotein and apoprotein) in a sample, complete understanding of holoprotein and apoprotein contents in P450 standards is desired toward reliable quantification. Our data also suggest that nano-LC/MS not only facilitates P450 quantitation but also provides genotypic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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