Cytochrome b5 and NADH cytochrome b5 reductase: genotype–phenotype correlations for hydroxylamine reduction

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ObjectivesNADH cytochrome b5 reductase (b5R) and cytochrome b5 (b5) catalyze the reduction of sulfamethoxazole hydroxylamine (SMX-HA), which can contribute to sulfonamide hypersensitivity, to the parent drug sulfamethoxazole. Variability in hydroxylamine reduction could thus play a role in adverse drug reactions. The aim of this study was to characterize variability in SMX-HA reduction in 111 human livers, and investigate its association with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in b5 and b5R cDNA.MethodsLiver microsomes were assayed for SMX-HA reduction activity, and b5 and b5R expression was semiquantified by immunoblotting. The coding regions of the b5 (CYB5A) and b5R (CYB5R3) genes were resequenced.ResultsHepatic SMX-HA reduction displayed a 19-fold range of individual variability (0.06–1.11 nmol/min/mg protein), and a 17-fold range in efficiency (Vmax/Km) among outliers. SMX-HA reduction was positively correlated with b5 and b5R protein content (P<0.0001, r=0.42; P=0.01, r=0.23, respectively), and expression of both proteins correlated with one another (P<0.0001; r=0.74). A novel cSNP in CYB5A (S5A) was associated with very low activity and protein expression. Two novel CYB5R3 SNPs, R59H and R297H, displayed atypical SMX-HA reduction kinetics and decreased SMX-HA reduction efficiency.ConclusionThese studies indicate that although novel cSNPs in CYB5A and CYB5R3 are associated with significantly altered protein expression and/or hydroxylamine reduction activities, these low-frequency cSNPs seem to only minimally impact overall observed phenotypic variability. Work is underway to characterize polymorphisms in other regions of these genes to further account for individual variability in hydroxylamine reduction.

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