Model of complex chiral drug metabolic systems and numerical simulation of the remaining chirality toward analysis of dynamical pharmacological activity

Yoshiyuki Ogino, Toru Asahi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    In this study, systems of complicated pathways involved in chiral drug metabolism were investigated. The development of chiral drugs resulted in significant improvement in the remedies available for the treatment of various severe sicknesses. Enantiopure drugs undergo various biological transformations that involve chiral inversion and thus result in the generation of multiple enantiomeric metabolites. Identification of the specific active substances determining a given drug[U+05F3]s efficacy among such a mixture of different metabolites remains a challenge. To comprehend this complexity, we constructed a mathematical model representing the complicated metabolic pathways simultaneously involving chiral inversion. Moreover, this model is applied to the metabolism of thalidomide, which has recently been revived as a potentially effective prescription drug for a number of intractable diseases. The numerical simulation results indicate that retained chirality in the metabolites reflects the original chirality of the unmetabolized drug, and a higher level of enantiomeric purity is preserved during spontaneous degradation. In addition, chirality remaining after equilibration is directly related to the rate constant not only for chiral inversion but also for generation and degradation. Furthermore, the retention of chirality is quantitatively predictable using this combination of kinetic parameters. Our simulation results well explain the behavior of thalidomide in the practical biological experimental data. Therefore, this model promises a comprehensive understanding of dynamic metabolic systems involving chiral drugs that express multiple enantiospecific drug efficacies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-131
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1



    • Chemical reaction network
    • Metabolic pathway of drug
    • Molecular chirality
    • Thalidomide

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Mathematics
    • Statistics and Probability
    • Modelling and Simulation
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
    • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
    • Medicine(all)

    Cite this