Synthetic Opiates and Cytochrome P450

By Alex

Since the area I am exploring is relatively untouched in the scientific world, it is often difficult to gain a background understanding of the interactions that occur between morphine and the opiate detoxification enzymes. Thankfully, I was able to help gain an understanding of the interactions present in the liver through two papers that analyzed the interactions between the critical cytochrome enzymes and methadone, a synthetic opiate. Though methadone is not identical to morphine, the basics of the interaction are similar enough to get me a little extra important knowledge going into the actual experiments.

 

The process, in simple terms, begins with the introduction of methadone into bloodstream, which in turn deposits in the liver. The methadone, which attaches to opiate receptors, is then sent to the hepatic portal circulation, where the hepatocytes check the blood for potentially harmful contents. The toxic contents of the liver are then cleaned out and neutralized by enzymes. The cytochromes that deal with methadone specifically are CYP2B6, CYP3A4, and to a lesser degree, CYP2D6.

CYP3A4

CYP2D6

CPY2B6

The methadone is then demethylated, leaving the harmless chemical EDDP, which is expelled in the urine with EMDP, the other result of the demethylation.

The various stages of the demethylation process for methadone.

That’s all the information I currently have on the process, but my research is ongoing, and I hope to come to an deeper understanding soon enough through research and lab work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s