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J Biol Chem. 1993 Dec 5;268(34):25636-42.

Glucuronidation of hyodeoxycholic acid in human liver. Evidence for a selective role of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B4.

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  • 1Centre du Médicament, URA CNRS 597, Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Nancy, France.


Monospecific polyclonal antibodies were raised against a variable amino-terminal domain (amino acids 14-150) of a human liver form of UDP-glucuronosyl-transferase conjugating bile acids, UGT2B4 (Jackson, M. R., McCarthy, L. R., Harding, D., Wilson, S., Coughtrie, M. W., and Burchell, B. (1987) Biochem. J. 242, 581-588), expressed as a fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The antibodies were able to recognize the protein, stably expressed in a genetically engineered eukaryotic V79 cell line, against which they were directed. The specificity of these antibodies allowed their use for analyzing the substrate specificity of this isoform in human liver, as well as for determining its contribution to the total hepatic and extra-hepatic glucuronidation of hyodeoxycholic acid. Western blot analysis of microsomal proteins demonstrated the presence of UGT2B4 exclusively in human liver and not in human kidney. In human liver microsomes, the antibodies were able to inhibit and precipitate up to 90% of the total hyodeoxycholic acid 6-O-glucuronidation activity, but had no effect on activities toward several other substrates, such as phenols, bilirubin, or other bile acids, especially hyocholic acid and the steroids 4-hydroxyesterone and estriol. Moreover, Western blot analysis and immunoinhibition studies of human liver microsomes from healthy patients and from patients presenting liver diseases revealed a good correlation between the glucuronidation rate of hyodeoxycholic acid and the UGT2B4 expression level. The absence of immunoinhibition of hyodeoxycholic acid conjugation with UDP sugars other than UDP-glucuronic acid suggests the involvement of different enzymatic systems in the glucosidation and xylosylation of hyodeoxycholic acid. Altogether, the results provided strong evidence for the specific and predominant involvement of UGT2B4 in the 6-O-glucuronidation of this bile acid via a UDP-glucuronic acid-dependent mechanism.

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