Species-dependent stereoselective drug binding to albumin: A circular dichroism study


  • Dedicated to Professor Nina Berova on the occasion of her significant anniversary and her receiving the Chirality Medal 2007.


Drug binding to albumins from different mammalian species was investigated to disclose evidence of species-dependent stereoselectivity in drug-binding processes and affinities. This aspect is important for evaluating the reliability of extrapolating distribution data among species. The circular dichroism (CD) signal induced by drug binding to the albumins [human serum albumin (HSA), bovine serum albumin (BSA), rat serum albumin (RSA), and dog serum albumin (DSA)] were measured and analyzed. The binding of selected drugs and metabolites to HSA significantly differed from the binding to the other albumins in terms of affinity and conformation of the bound ligands. In particular, phenylbutazone, a marker of site one on HSA, showed a higher affinity for binding to BSA with respect to RSA, HSA, and DSA, respectively. In the case of diazepam, a marker of site two on HSA, the affinity decreased in order from HSA to DSA, RSA, and BSA. The induced CD spectra were similar in terms of energy and band signs, suggesting almost the same conformation for the bound drug to the different albumins. Stereoselectivity was high for the binding of ketoprofen to HSA and RSA. A different sign was observed for the CD spectra induced by the drug to the two albumins because of the prevalence of a different conformation of the bound drug. Interestingly, the same induced CD spectra were obtained using either the racemic form or the (S)-enantiomer. Finally, significant differences were observed in the affinity of bilirubin, being highest for BSA, then decreasing for RSA, HSA, and DSA. A more complex conformational equilibrium was observed for bound bilirubin. Chirality, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.