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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996 Mar 15;327(2):271-8.

Phenobarbital-induced activation of CYP2H1 and 5-aminolevulinate synthase genes in chick embryo hepatocytes is blocked by an inhibitor of protein phosphorylation.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


The phenobarbital-induced activation of cytochrome P4502H1 (CYP2H1) and 5-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS-1) genes in chick embryo hepatocytes occurs at the level of gene transcription, but the molecular mechanism underlying this induction is not understood in detail. In the present study, we report that the protein kinase inhibitor 2-aminopurine markedly inhibits the phenobarbital-induced activation of CYP2H1 and ALAS-1 genes as measured by Northern blot analysis, but does not alter the basal expression of these genes in the absence of drug. Transient expression studies confirmed these findings. The construct pCATBg4.8 contains a 4.8-kb drug-responsive domain of the CYP2H1 gene fused to the enhancerless SV40 promoter and the drug-induced expression of this construct in chick embryo hepatocytes was inhibited by 2-aminopurine. Another construct pCAT, with the first 547 bp of 5' flanking region of the CYP2H1 gene, is not responsive to drug and basal expression of this construct was not altered by the addition of 2-aminopurine. The evidence presented here demonstrates that the inhibitory action of 2-aminopurine on drug-induction is not due to a toxic effect on the cells. The induction of the CYP2H1 gene by phenobarbital was not altered by treating cells with the specific inhibitors for protein kinase C (GF 109203X and Ro 31-8220) or prolonged exposure to 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol 13-acetate (TPA) or treatment with the specific inhibitors for tyrosine kinase (genistein and tyrphostin A25). Overall, the data indicate that a 2-amino-purine-sensitive protein kinase activity is required for the phenobarbital-induction mechanism but this is unlikely to be a protein kinase C or tyrosine kinase. It can be postulated that phosphorylation of a drug receptor protein may be an important step in the drug-induction process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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