Human NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1)-mediated inactivation of reactive quinoneimine metabolites of diclofenac and mefenamic acid

Galvin Vredenburg, Naura S Elias, Harini Venkataraman, Delilah F G Hendriks, Nico P E Vermeulen, Jan N M Commandeur, J Chris Vos

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is an enzyme capable of reducing a broad range of chemically reactive quinones and quinoneimines (QIs) and can be strongly upregulated by Nrf2/Keap1-mediated stress responses. Several commonly used drugs implicated in adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are known to form reactive QI metabolites upon bioactivation by P450, such as acetaminophen (APAP), diclofenac (DF), and mefenamic acid (MFA). In the present study, the reductive activity of human NQO1 toward the QI metabolites derived from APAP and hydroxy-metabolites of DF and MFA was studied, using purified bacterial P450 BM3 (CYP102A1) mutant M11 as a bioactivation system. The NQO1-catalyzed reduction of the QI metabolites was quantified relative to spontaneous glutathione (GSH) conjugation. Addition of NQO1 to the incubations strongly reduced the formation of all corresponding GSH conjugates, and this activity could be prevented by dicoumarol, a selective NQO1 inhibitor. The GSH conjugation was strongly increased by adding human GSTP1-1 in a wide range of GSH concentrations. Still, NQO1 could effectively compete with the GST catalyzed GSH conjugation by reducing the QIs. In conclusion, we identified the QI metabolites of the 4'- and 5-hydroxy-metabolites of DF and MFA as novel substrates for human NQO1. NQO1-mediated reduction proves to be an effective pathway to detoxify these QI metabolites in addition to GSH conjugation. Genetically determined deficiency of NQO1 therefore might be a risk factor for ADRs induced by reactive QI drug metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-86
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2014


  • Activation, Metabolic
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Line
  • Diclofenac
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Humans
  • Imines
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • Quinones
  • Journal Article


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