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Mol Endocrinol. 2001 Sep;15(9):1571-85.

Conservation of signaling pathways of xenobiotic-sensing orphan nuclear receptors, chicken xenobiotic receptor, constitutive androstane receptor, and pregnane X receptor, from birds to humans.

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Division of Pharmacology/Neurobiology, Biozentrum of the University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


Chicken xenobiotic receptor, pregnane X receptor, and constitutive androstane receptor are orphan nuclear receptors that have recently been discovered to regulate drug- and steroid-mediated induction of hepatic cytochromes P450 (CYP). This induction is part of an adaptive response involving numerous genes to exposure to drugs and chemicals and has major clinical and toxicological implications. Here we report experiments in the chicken hepatoma cell line LMH that suggest evolutionary conservation of the signaling pathways triggered by pregnane X receptor, constitutive androstane receptor, and chicken xenobiotic receptor. Thus, the phenobarbital-inducible enhancer units of the mouse Cyp2b10, rat CYP2B2, and human CYP2B6 genes were activated in reporter gene assays by the same compounds that activate the chicken CYP2H1 phenobarbital-inducible enhancer units. Chicken xenobiotic receptor, pregnane X receptor, and constitutive androstane receptor all bound to the CYP2H1 phenobarbital-inducible enhancer units in gel-shift experiments. In CV-1 cell transactivation assays, mammalian pregnane X receptors activate the chicken phenobarbital-inducible enhancer units to the same extent as does chicken xenobiotic receptor, each receptor maintaining its species-specific ligand spectrum. To assess the reported role of protein phosphorylation in drug-mediated induction, we treated LMH cells with okadaic acid and observed increased mRNA of delta-aminolevulinate synthase and CYP2H1 whereas expression of CYP3A37 was decreased. The effects of okadaic acid and other modifiers of protein phosphorylation in LMH cells are comparable to those seen on CYP2Bs and CYP3As in mammalian primary hepatocyte cultures. These results indicate that closely related nuclear receptors, transcription factors, and signaling pathways are mediating the transcriptional activation of multiple genes by xenobiotics in chicken, rodents, and man.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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