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Drug Metab Dispos. 2007 Jul;35(7):1126-34. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

Cytochrome P450 eicosanoids are activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha.

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  • 1Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-2911, USA.


Cytochrome P450 (P450) eicosanoids regulate vascular tone, renal tubular transport, cellular proliferation, and inflammation. Both the CYP4A omega-hydroxylases, which catalyze 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) formation, and soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which catalyzes epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET) degradation to the dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), are induced upon activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) by fatty acids and fibrates. In contrast, the CYP2C epoxygenases, which are responsible for EET formation, are repressed after fibrate treatment. We show here that P450 eicosanoids can bind to and activate PPARalpha and result in the modulation of PPARalpha target gene expression. In transactivation assays, 14,15-DHET, 11,2-EET, and 20-HETE were potent activators of PPARalpha. Gel shift assays showed that EETs, DHETs, and 20-HETE induced PPARalpha-specific binding to its cognate response element. Expression of apolipoprotein A-I was decreased 70% by 20-HETE, whereas apolipoprotein A-II expression was increased up to 3-fold by 11,12-EET, 14,15-DHET, and 20-HETE. In addition, P450 eicosanoids induced CYP4A1, sEH, and CYP2C11 expression, suggesting that they can regulate their own levels. Given that P450 eicosanoids have multiple cardiovascular effects, pharmacological modulation of their formation and/or degradation may yield therapeutic benefits.

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