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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Feb 20, 1996; 93(4): 1671–1676.

Cyp1a2(-/-) null mutant mice develop normally but show deficient drug metabolism.


Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) is a predominantly hepatic enzyme known to be important in the metabolism of numerous foreign chemicals of pharmacologic, toxicologic, and carcinogenic significance. CYP1A2 substrates include aflatoxin B1, acetaminophen, and a variety of environmental arylamines. To define better the developmental and metabolic functions of this enzyme, we developed a CYP1A2-deficient mouse line by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. Mice homozygous for the targeted Cyp1a2 gene, designated Cyp1a2(-/-), are completely viable and fertile; histologic examination of 15-day embryos, newborn pups, and 3-week-old mice revealed no abnormalities. No CYP1A2 mRNA was detected by Northern blot analysis. Moreover, mRNA levels of Cyp1a1, the other gene in the same subfamily, appear unaffected by loss of the Cyp1a2 gene. Because the muscle relaxant zoxazolamine is a known substrate for CYP1A2, we studied the Cyp1a2(-/-) genotype by using the zoxazolamine paralysis test: the Cyp1a2(-/-) mice exhibited dramatically lengthened paralysis times relative to the Cyp1a2(+/+) wild-type animals, and the Cyp1a2(+/-) heterozygotes showed an intermediate effect. Availability of a viable and fertile CYP1A2-deficient mouse line will provide a valuable tool for researchers wishing to define the precise role of CYP1A2 in numerous metabolic and pharmacokinetic processes.

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Selected References

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