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    Bioactivation of the antidepressant and smoking cessation drug bupropion is catalyzed predominantly by CYP2B6. The metabolite hydroxybupropion derived from t-butylhydroxylation is considered to contribute to the antidepressant and smoking-cessation effects of the parent drug. Bupropion hydroxylation is the canonical in vitro and in vivo probe for CYP2B6 activity. P450 also requires obligate partnership with P450 oxidoreductase (POR). Human CYP2B6 and POR genes are highly polymorphic. Some CYP2B6 variants affect bupropion disposition. This investigation evaluated the influence of several human CYP2B6 and POR genetic variants on stereoselective bupropion metabolism, using an insect cell coexpression system containing CYP2B6, POR, and cytochrome b 5 Based on intrinsic clearances (Clints), relative activities for S,S-hydroxybupropion formation were in the order CYP2B6.4 > CYP2B6.1 > CYP2B6.17 > CYP2B6.5 > CYP2B6.6 ≈ CYP2B6.26 ≈ CYP2B6.19 > CYP2B6.7 > CYP2B6.9 > > CYP2B6.16 and CYP2B6.18; relative activities for R,R-hydroxybupropion formation were in the order CYP2B6.17 > CYP2B6.4 > CYP2B6.1 > CYP2B6.5 ≈ CYP2B6.19 ≈ CYP2B6.26 > CYP2B6.6 > CYP2B6.7 ≈ CYP2B6.9 > > CYP2B6.16 and CYP2B6.18. Bupropion hydroxylation was not influenced by POR variants. CYP2B6-catalyzed bupropion hydroxylation is stereoselective. Though Vmax and Km varied widely among CYP2B6 variants, stereoselectivity was preserved, reflected by similar Clint(S,S-hydroxybupropion)/Clint(R,R-hydroxybupropion) ratios (1.8-2.9), except CYP2B6.17, which was less enantioselective. Established concordance between human bupropion hydroxylation in vitro and in vivo, together with these new results, suggests additional CYP2B6 variants may influence human bupropion disposition. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Bupropion pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and clinical effects are affected by the CYP2B6*6 polymorphism. Other expressed CYP2B6 polymorphisms had diminished (*5, *6, *7, *9, *19, *26) or defective (*16, *18) in vitro bupropion hydroxylation. P450 oxidoreductase genetic variants had no effect on metabolism, suggesting no clinical consequence of this polymorphism. These CYP2B6 polymorphisms may portend diminished in vivo bupropion hydroxylation and predict additional clinically important variant alleles. Copyright © 2020 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


    Pan-Fen Wang, Alicia Neiner, Evan D Kharasch. Stereoselective Bupropion Hydroxylation by Cytochrome P450 CYP2B6 and Cytochrome P450 Oxidoreductase Genetic Variants. Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals. 2020 Jun;48(6):438-445

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    PMID: 32238417

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