Cytochrome P-450 mediates bioactivation of organic nitrates

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The cellular mechanism of bioactivation underlying guanylate cyclase activation by organic nitrates was investigated. In cultured rat lung fibroblasts (RFL-6 cells), the inhibitor of cytochrome P-450 proadifen (0.1 mM) decreased cyclic GMP stimulation by glyceryl trinitrate (GTN, 1-100 μM) by up to 81%. Cyclic GMP stimulation by isoidide dinitrate was inhibited to a similar degree under these conditions. However, proadifen did not affect cyclic GMP stimulation by sodium nitroprusside that spontaneously releases nitric oxide. Cyclic GMP stimulation in RFL-6 cells by GTN remained unaltered in the presence of the inhibitor of glutathione S-transferase sulfobromophthalein. In the same cell type, a 24-hr pretreatment with the inducer of cytochrome P-450 3-methylcholanthrene (10 μM) augmented cyclic GMP stimulation by GTN or isoidide dinitrate by up to 102%. Cultured porcine aortic endothelial cells were found to be without a cyclic GMP response to GTN, although sodium nitroprusside produced a marked cyclic GMP elevation in these cells. The endothelial cells remained unresponsive to GTN even in the presence of N-acetylcysteine (5 mM). Moreover, in a cell-free preparation from rat liver, glutathione-dependent biotransformation of GTN was not accompanied by activation of soluble guanylate cyclase. These findings suggest that in intact cells bioactivation of, i.e., nitric oxide formation from organic nitrates is mediated by a cytochrome P-450 enzyme system rather than by glutathione S-transferase or free thiols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


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