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Yakugaku Zasshi. 2003 May;123(5):369-75.

Tissue distribution of mRNA expression of human cytochrome P450 isoforms assessed by high-sensitivity real-time reverse transcription PCR.

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  • 1Department of Drug Metabolism, Division of Pharmacology, Drug Safety and Metabolism, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Inc., Naruto, Tokushima 772-8601, Japan.


Pairs of forward and reverse primers and TaqMan probes specific to each human cytochrome P450 isoform were prepared. Analysis of the mRNA level of each CYP isoform in total RNA from pooled specimens of various human organs was performed by real-time reverse transcription PCR using an ABI PRISM 7700 sequence detector system. The expression of CYP3A4 mRNA was similar to that of CYP3A7 mRNA in the fetal liver, and CYP3A4 mRNA levels in the fetal liver were about 0.1 times lower than in the adult liver. CYP2E1 showed the highest level of mRNA expression in the liver. The mRNA expression of 30 CYP isoforms (CYP1A1, 1A2, 1B1, 2A6, 2A7, 2B6, 2C8, 2C9, 2C18, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, 2J2, 3A4, 3A5, 3A7, 4A11, 4F2, 4F3, 5A1, 7B1, 8A1, 8B1, 17, 26A1, 27, 27B1, 39A1, 46, and 51) in the liver was successfully detected by this method. CYP2F1, 4B1, 4F8, 11s (11A, 11B1, and 11B2), 19, and 24 mRNA levels were the highest in the lung, lung, prostate, adrenal gland, placenta, and kidney, respectively; however, the mRNA expression of these eight CYP isoforms in the liver was not detected by this method. The mRNA levels of the CYP isoforms determined in various human tissues were in good agreement with previously reported data. The method described here has the advantages of high specificity and excellent quantification over a wide range of mRNA concentrations, making it suitable for the evaluation of a large number of samples in the assessment of the expression profile of drug-metabolizing enzymes.

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