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Phenobarbital response elements of cytochrome P450 genes and nuclear receptors.

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Pharmacogenetics Section, Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Phenobarbital (PB) response elements are composed of various nuclear receptor (NR)-binding sites. A 51-bp distal element PB-responsive enhancer module (PBREM) conserved in the PB-inducible CYP2B genes contains two NR-binding direct repeat (DR)-4 motifs. Responding to PB exposure in liver, the NR constitutive active receptor (CAR) translocates to the nucleus, forms a dimer with the retinoid X receptor (RXR), and activates PBREM via binding to DR-4 motifs. For CYP3A genes, a common NR site [DR-3 or everted repeat (ER)-6] is present in proximal promoter regions. In addition, the distal element called the xenobiotic responsive module (XREM) is found in human CYP3A4 genes, which contain both DR-3 and ER-6 motifs. Pregnane X receptor (PXR) could bind to all of these sites and, upon PB induction, a PXR:RXR heterodimer could transactivate XREM. These response elements and NRs are functionally versatile, and capable of responding to distinct but overlapping groups of xenochemicals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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