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Drug Metab Rev. 2010 Feb;42(1):110-22. doi: 10.3109/03602530903219220.

Regulation of endobiotics glucuronidation by ligand-activated transcription factors: physiological function and therapeutic potential.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, CHUQ Research Center and Faculty of Pharmacy, Laval University, Québec, Canada.


Recent progresses in molecular pharmacology approaches have allowed the identification and characterization of a series of nuclear receptors (NR) which efficiently control the level UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) genes expression. These regulatory processes ensure optimized UGT expression in response to specific endogenous and/or exogenous stimuli. Interestingly, numerous endogenous activators of these NRs are conjugated by the UGT enzymes they regulate. In such a case, the NR-dependent regulation of UGT genes corresponds to a feedforward/feedback mechanism by which a bioactive molecule controls its own concentrations. In the present review, we will discuss i) how bilirubin reduces its circulating levels by activating AhR in the liver; ii) how bile acids modulate their hepatic glucuronidation via PXR- and FXR-dependent processes in enterohepatic tissues; and iii) how androgens inhibit their cellular metabolism in prostate cancer cells through an AR-dependent mechanism. Subsequently, with further discussion of the same examples (bilirubin and bile acids), we will illustrate how NR-dependent regulation of UGT enzymes may contribute to the beneficial effects of pharmacological activators of nuclear receptors, such as CAR and PPARa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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