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Quantification of drug metabolising enzymes and transporter proteins in the paediatric duodenum via LC-MS/MS proteomics using a QconCAT technique

Characterising the small intestine absorptive membrane is essential to enable prediction of the systemic exposure of oral formulations. In particular, the ontogeny of key intestinal Drug Metabolising Enzymes and Transporter (DMET) proteins involved in drug disposition needs to be elucidated to allow for accurate prediction of the PK profile of drugs in the paediatric cohort.

Using pinch biopsies from the paediatric duodenum (n = 36; aged 11 months to 15 years), the abundance of 21 DMET proteins and two enterocyte markers were quantified via LC-MS/MS. An established LCMS nanoflow method was translated to enable analysis on a microflow LC system, and a new stable-isotope-labelled QconCAT standard developed to enable quantification of these proteins. Villin-1 was used to standardise abundancy values. The observed abundancies and ontogeny profiles, agreed with adult LC-MS/MS-based data, and historic paediatric data obtained via western blotting. A linear trend with age was observed for duodenal CYP3A4 and CES2 only. As this work quantified peptides on a pinch biopsy coupled with a microflow method, future studies using a wider population range are very feasible. Furthermore, this DMET ontogeny data can be used to inform paediatric PBPK modelling and to enhance the understanding of oral drug absorption and gut bioavailability in paediatric populations.