Structural basis of human pregnane X receptor activation by the hops constituent colupulone.
ABSTRACT: Hops extracts are used to alleviate menopausal symptoms and as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy, but they can produce potentially harmful drug-drug interactions. The nuclear xenobiotic receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) is promiscuously activated by a range of structurally distinct chemicals. It has a key role in the transcriptional regulation of genes that encode xenobiotic metabolism enzymes. In this study, hops extracts are shown to induce the expression of numerous drug metabolism and excretion proteins. The beta-bitter acid colupulone is demonstrated to be a bioactive component and direct activator of human PXR. The 2.8-A resolution crystal structure of the ligand binding domain of human PXR in complex with colupulone was elucidated, and colupulone was observed to bind in a single orientation stabilized by both van der Waals and hydrogen bonding contacts. The crystal structure also indicates that related alpha- and beta-bitter acids have the capacity to serve as PXR agonists as well. Taken together, these results reveal the structural basis for drug-drug interactions mediated by colupulone and related constituents of hops extracts.
Project description:Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a pivotal nuclear receptor modulating xenobiotic metabolism primarily through its regulation of CYP3A4, the most important enzyme involved in drug metabolism in humans. Due to the marked species differences in ligand recognition by PXR, PXR-humanized (hPXR) mice, and mice expressing human PXR and CYP3A4 (Tg3A4/hPXR) were established. hPXR and Tg3A4/hPXR mice are valuable models for investigating the role of PXR in xenobiotic metabolism and toxicity, in lipid, bile acid and steroid hormone homeostasis, and in the control of inflammation.
Project description:Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a major transcriptional regulator of xenobiotic metabolism and transport pathways in the liver and intestines, which are critical for protecting organisms against potentially harmful xenobiotic and endobiotic compounds. Inadvertent activation of drug metabolism pathways through PXR is known to contribute to drug resistance, adverse drug-drug interactions, and drug toxicity in humans. In both humans and rodents, PXR has been implicated in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer. Because of PXR's important functions, it has been a therapeutic target of interest for a long time. More recent mechanistic studies have shown that PXR is modulated by multiple PTMs. Herein we provide the first investigation of the role of acetylation in modulating PXR activity. Through LC-MS/MS analysis, we identified lysine 109 (K109) in the hinge as PXR's major acetylation site. Using various biochemical and cell-based assays, we show that PXR's acetylation status and transcriptional activity are modulated by E1A binding protein (p300) and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1). Based on analysis of acetylation site mutants, we found that acetylation at K109 represses PXR transcriptional activity. The mechanism involves loss of RXR? dimerization and reduced binding to cognate DNA response elements. This mechanism may represent a promising therapeutic target using modulators of PXR acetylation levels. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Xenobiotic nuclear receptors: New Tricks for An Old Dog, edited by Dr. Wen Xie.
Project description:The nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a well-characterized hepatic xenobiotic sensor whose activation by chemically diverse compounds results in the induction of drug clearance pathways that rid the body of potentially toxic substances, thus conferring protection from foreign chemicals and endobiotics.PXR activities are implicated in drug-drug interactions and endocrine disruption. Recent evidence supports a hepatoprotective role for PXR in chronic liver injury, inhibiting liver inflammation through suppression of the NF-?B pathway. However, PXR-mediated induction of CYP3A enhances APAP-induced acute liver injury by generating toxic metabolites. While these observations implicate PXR as a therapeutic target for liver injury, they also caution against PXR activation by pharmaceutical drugs.While evidence of PXR involvement in acute and chronic liver injuries identifies it as a possible therapeutic target, it raises additional concerns for all drug candidates. The in vitro and in vivo tests for human PXR activation should be incorporated into the FDA regulations for therapeutic drug approval to identify potential liver toxicities. In addition, PXR pharmacogenetic studies will facilitate the prediction of patient-specific drug reactivities and associated liver disorders.
Project description:The human pregnane X nuclear receptor (PXR) is a xenobiotic-regulated receptor that is activated by a range of diverse chemicals, including antibiotics, antifungals, glucocorticoids, and herbal extracts. PXR has been characterized as an important receptor in the metabolism of xenobiotics due to induction of cytochrome P450 isozymes and activation by a large number of prescribed medications. Developing methodologies that can efficiently detect PXR ligands will be clinically beneficial to avoid potential drug-drug interactions. To facilitate the identification of PXR ligands, a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) assay was miniaturized to a 1,536-well microtiter plate format to employ quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS). The optimized 1,536-well TR-FRET assay showed Z'-factors of >or=0.5. Seven- to 15-point concentration-response curves (CRCs) were generated for 8,280 compounds using both terbium and fluorescein emission data, resulting in the generation of 241,664 data points. The qHTS method allowed us to retrospectively examine single concentration screening datasets to assess the sensitivity and selectivity of the PXR assay at different compound screening concentrations. Furthermore, nonspecific assay artifacts such as concentration-based quenching of the terbium signal and compound fluorescence were identified through the examination of CRCs for specific emission channels. The CRC information was also used to define chemotypes associated with PXR ligands. This study demonstrates the feasibility of profiling thousands of compounds against PXR using the TR-FRET assay in a high-throughput format.
Project description:Steroid and xenobiotic receptor (SXR) and its murine ortholog, pregnane X receptor (PXR), are nuclear receptors that are expressed at high levels in the liver and the intestine where they function as xenobiotic sensors that induce expression of genes involved in detoxification and drug excretion. Recent evidence showed that SXR and PXR are also expressed in bone tissue where they mediate bone metabolism. Here we report that systemic deletion of PXR results in aging-dependent wearing of articular cartilage of knee joints. Histomorphometrical analysis showed remarkable reduction of width and an enlarged gap between femoral and tibial articular cartilage in PXR knockout mice. We hypothesized that genes induced by SXR in chondrocytes have a protective effect on articular cartilage and identified Fam20a (family with sequence similarity 20a) as an SXR-dependent gene induced by the known SXR ligands, rifampicin and vitamin K2. Lastly, we demonstrated the biological significance of Fam20a expression in chondrocytes by evaluating osteoarthritis-related gene expression of primary articular chondrocytes. Consistent with epidemiological findings, our results indicate that SXR/PXR protects against aging-dependent wearing of articular cartilage and that ligands for SXR/PXR have potential role in preventing osteoarthritis caused by aging.
Project description:Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a xenobiotic receptor that regulates the detoxification and clearance of drugs and foreign compounds from the liver. There has been mounting evidence of crosstalk between the drug metabolism pathway and the energy metabolism pathway, but little is known about this cross-regulation. To further delineate the energy metabolism and drug metabolism crosstalk in this study, we exposed HepG2 cells to varying glucose concentrations. We observed that PXR activity was induced under high-glucose conditions. This finding is consistent with previous clinical reports of increased drug clearance in patients with untreated diabetes. We demonstrated that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) modulates PXR transcriptional activity and that pharmacologically manipulated AMPK activation exhibits an inverse relation to PXR activity. Activation of AMPK was shown to downregulate PXR activity and, consistent with that, potentiate the response of cells to the drug. Taken together, our results delineate a hitherto unreported axis of regulation that involves the energy status of the cell, PXR regulation, and drug sensitivity.
Project description:Efficient detoxification and clearance of cholesterol metabolites such as oxysterols, bile alcohols, and bile acids are critical for survival because they can promote liver and cardiovascular disease. We report here that loss of the nuclear xenobiotic receptor PXR (pregnane X receptor), a regulator of enterohepatic drug metabolism and clearance, results in an unexpected acute lethality associated with signs of severe hepatorenal failure when mice are fed with a diet that elicits accumulation of cholesterol and its metabolites. Induction of a distinct drug clearance program by a high-affinity ligand for the related nuclear receptor, the constitutive androstane receptor, does not overcome the lethality, indicating the unique requirement of PXR for detoxification. We propose that the PXR signaling pathway protects the body from toxic dietary cholesterol metabolites, and, by extension, PXR ligands may ameliorate human diseases such as cholestatic liver diseases and the associating acute renal failure.
Project description:Constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) are xenobiotic sensors that enhance the detoxification and elimination of xenobiotics and endobiotics by modulating the expression of genes encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters. Elevated levels of drug-metabolizing enzymes and efflux transporters, resulting from CAR activation in various cancers, promote the elimination of chemotherapeutic agents, leading to reduced therapeutic effectiveness and acquired drug resistance. CAR inhibitors, in combination with existing chemotherapeutics, could therefore be used to attenuate multidrug resistance in cancers. Interestingly, all previously reported CAR inverse-agonists are also activators of PXR, rendering them mechanistically counterproductive in tissues where both these xenobiotic receptors are present and active. We used a directed high-throughput screening approach, followed by subsequent mechanistic studies, to identify novel, potent, and specific small-molecule CAR inhibitors that do not activate PXR. We describe here one such inhibitor, CINPA1 (CAR inhibitor not PXR activator 1), capable of reducing CAR-mediated transcription with an IC50 of ?70 nM. CINPA1 1) is a specific xenobiotic receptor inhibitor and has no cytotoxic effects up to 30 µM; 2) inhibits CAR-mediated gene expression in primary human hepatocytes, where CAR is endogenously expressed; 3) does not alter the protein levels or subcellular localization of CAR; 4) increases corepressor and reduces coactivator interaction with the CAR ligand-binding domain in mammalian two-hybrid assays; and 5) disrupts CAR binding to the promoter regions of target genes in chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. CINPA1 could be used as a novel molecular tool for understanding CAR function.
Project description:Altered expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) by environmental chemicals modulates the expression of xenobiotic biotransformation-related genes and may serve as therapeutic targets and novel biomarkers of exposure. The pregnane X receptor (PXR/NR1I2) is a critical xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptor that regulates the expression of many drug-processing genes, and it has similar target-gene profiles and DNA-binding motifs with another xenobiotic-sensing nuclear receptor, namely, constitutive andronstrane receptor (CAR/Nr1i3). To test our hypothesis that lncRNAs are regulated by PXR in concert with protein-coding genes (PCGs) and to compare the PXR-targeted lncRNAs with CAR-targeted lncRNAs, RNA-Seq was performed from livers of adult male C57BL/6 mice treated with corn oil, the PXR agonist PCN, or the CAR agonist 1, 4-bis[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene (TCPOBOP). Among 125,680 known lncRNAs, 3843 were expressed in liver, and 193 were differentially regulated by PXR (among which 40% were also regulated by CAR). Most PXR- or CAR-regulated lncRNAs were mapped to the introns and 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of PCGs, as well as intergenic regions. Combining the RNA-Seq data with a published PXR chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing; cytochrome P450 (P450; ChIP-Seq) data set, we identified 774 expressed lncRNAs with direct PXR-DNA binding sites, and 26.8% of differentially expressed lncRNAs had changes in PXR-DNA binding after PCN exposure. De novo motif analysis identified colocalization of PXR with liver receptor homolog (LRH-1), which regulates bile acid synthesis after PCN exposure. There was limited overlap of PXR binding with an epigenetic mark for transcriptional activation (histone-H3K4-di-methylation, H3K4me2) but no overlap with epigenetic marks for transcriptional silencing [H3 lysine 27 tri-methylation (H3K27me3) and DNA methylation]. Among differentially expressed lncRNAs, 264 were in proximity of PCGs, and the lncRNA-PCG pairs displayed a high coregulatory pattern by PXR and CAR activation. This study was among the first to demonstrate that lncRNAs are regulated by PXR and CAR activation and that they may be important regulators of PCGs involved in xenobiotic metabolism.
Project description:The pregnane X receptor (PXR) regulates drug metabolism by regulating the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes such as cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), which is involved in the metabolism of >50% of clinically prescribed drugs. The activity of PXR can be controlled by the binding of small molecule agonists or antagonists. Because of its unique ligand binding pocket, PXR binds promiscuously to structurally diverse chemicals. To study the structure-activity relationship, novel modulators for PXR are needed. Here we report the virtual screening of ?25,000 natural product derivatives from the ZINC database using the Molecular Operating Environment docking software tool against the PXR-rifampicin complex X-ray crystal structure. Our screening resulted in identification of compounds based on the lowest S score, which measures Gibbs free energy. Interestingly, we found that the compounds that bind directly to PXR, as revealed in an intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence assay, modulate CYP3A4 promoter activity differentially in HepG2 cells. Mutational analysis and docking studies showed that these compounds bind broadly in the ligand binding pocket but interact with different amino acid residues. We further investigated the mechanism of binding by analyzing the functional groups that are important for distinguishing agonists from antagonists. The approach we used to identify novel modulators that bind to PXR can be useful for finding novel modulators of PXR.