Structure-metabolism relationships in human- AOX: Chemical insights from a large database of aza-aromatic and amide compounds

April 2018.

Lepri S, Ceccarelli M, Milani N, Tortorella S, Cucco A, Valeri A, Goracci L, Brink A, Cruciani G.


Aldehyde oxidase (AOX) is a metabolic enzyme catalyzing the oxidation of aldehyde and aza-aromatic compounds and the hydrolysis of amides, moieties frequently shared by the majority of drugs. Despite its key role in human metabolism, to date only fragmentary information about the chemical features responsible for AOX susceptibility are reported and only “very local” structure-metabolism relationships based on a small number of similar compounds have been developed.

This study reports a more comprehensive coverage of the chemical space of structures with a high risk of AOX phase I metabolism in humans. More than 270 compounds were studied to identify the site of metabolism and the metabolite(s). Both electronic [supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations] and exposure effects were considered when rationalizing the structure-metabolism relationship. 

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