ABCB1 attenuates brain exposure to the KRAS<sup>G12C</sup> inhibitor opnurasib whereas binding to mouse carboxylesterase 1c influences its plasma exposure.


Opnurasib (JDQ443) is a newly developed oral KRASG12C inhibitor, with a binding mechanism distinct from the registered KRASG12C inhibitors sotorasib and adagrasib. Phase I and II clinical trials for opnurasib in NSCLC are ongoing. We evaluated the pharmacokinetic roles of the ABCB1 (P-gp/MDR1) and ABCG2 (BCRP) efflux and OATP1 influx transporters, and of the metabolizing enzymes CYP3A and CES1 in plasma and tissue disposition of oral opnurasib, using genetically modified cell lines and mouse models. In vitro, opnurasib was potently transported by human (h)ABCB1 and slightly by mouse (m)Abcg2. In Abcb1a/b- and Abcb1a/b;Abcg2-deficient mice, a significant ∼100-fold increase in brain-to-plasma ratios was observed. Brain penetration was unchanged in Abcg2-/- mice. ABCB1 activity in the blood-brain barrier may therefore potentially limit the efficacy of opnurasib against brain metastases. The Abcb1a/b transporter activity could be almost completely reversed by co-administration of elacridar, a dual ABCB1/ABCG2 inhibitor, increasing the brain penetration without any behavioral or postural signs of acute CNS-related toxicity. No significant pharmacokinetic roles of the OATP1 transporters were observed. Transgenic human CYP3A4 did not substantially affect the plasma exposure of opnurasib, indicating that opnurasib is likely not a sensitive CYP3A4 substrate. Interestingly, Ces1-/- mice showed a 4-fold lower opnurasib plasma exposure compared to wild-type mice, whereas no strong effect was seen on the tissue distribution. Plasma Ces1c therefore likely binds opnurasib, increasing its retention in plasma. The obtained pharmacokinetic insights may be useful for further optimization of the clinical efficacy and safety of opnurasib, and might reveal potential drug-drug interaction risks.

More about this publication

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie
  • Volume 175
  • Pages 116720
  • Publication date 01-06-2024

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