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Characterisation of tolbutamide hydroxylase activity in the common brushtail possum, (Trichosurus vulpecula) and koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): inhibition by the Eucalyptus terpene 1,8-cineole

Panagiota Liapis ^a, Georgia J. Pass ^b, Ross A. McKinnon ^a, Ieva Stupans ^a,*

a) School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, City East, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
b) School of Pharmacy, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Australia


Plant constituents such as terpenes are major constituents of the essential oil in Eucalyptus sp. 1,8-Cineole and p-cymene (Terpenes present in high amounts in Eucalyptus leaves) are potential substrates for the CYP family of enzymes. We have investigated tolbutamide hydroxylase as a probe substrate reaction in both koala and terpene pretreated and control brushtail possum liver microsomes and examined inhibition of this reaction by Eucalyptus terpenes. The specific activity determined for tolbutamide hydroxylase in the terpene treated brushtails was significantly higher than that for the control animals (1865±334 nmol/mg microsomal protein per min versus 895±27 nmol/mg microsomal protein per min). The activity determined in koala microsomes was 8159±370 nmol/mg microsomal protein per min. Vmax values and Km values for the terpene treated possum, control, possum and koala were 1932–2225 nmol/mg microsomal protein per min and 0.80–0.81 mM; 1406–1484 nmol/mg microsomal protein per min and 0.87–0.92 mM and 5895–6403 nmol/mg microsomal protein per min and 0.067–0.071 mM, respectively. Terpenes were examined as potential inhibitors of tolbutamide hydroxylase activity. 1,8-Cineole was found to be a competitive inhibitor for the enzyme responsible for tolbutamide hydroxylation (Ki 15 µM) in the possum. In koala liver microsomes stimulation of tolbutamide hydroxylase activity was observed when concentrations of cineole were increased. Therefore, although inhibition was observed, the type of inhibition could not be determined.

  • All
  • 2013
  • Biogeography
  • Biology
  • Chlamydia
  • Diet
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Ellis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Genetics
  • Habitat
  • Infection
  • Interventions
  • Koala
  • Lunney
  • Threats
  • Timms
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