The human orphan nuclear receptor PXR is activated by compounds that regulate CYP3A4 gene expression and cause drug interactions.
ABSTRACT: The cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase 3A4 (CYP3A4) is responsible for the oxidative metabolism of a wide variety of xenobiotics including an estimated 60% of all clinically used drugs. Although expression of the CYP3A4 gene is known to be induced in response to a variety of compounds, the mechanism underlying this induction, which represents a basis for drug interactions in patients, has remained unclear. We report the identification of a human (h) orphan nuclear receptor, termed the pregnane X receptor (PXR), that binds to a response element in the CYP3A4 promoter and is activated by a range of drugs known to induce CYP3A4 expression. Comparison of hPXR with the recently cloned mouse PXR reveals marked differences in their activation by certain drugs, which may account in part for the species-specific effects of compounds on CYP3A gene expression. These findings provide a molecular explanation for the ability of disparate chemicals to induce CYP3A4 levels and, furthermore, provide a basis for developing in vitro assays to aid in predicting whether drugs will interact in humans.
Project description:Activation of human pregnane X receptor (hPXR)-regulated expression of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) plays an important role in mediating adverse drug interactions. Given the common use of natural products as part of adjunct human health behavior, there is a growing concern about natural products for their potential to induce undesired drug interactions through the activation of hPXR-regulated CYP3A4 and MDR1. Here, we studied whether 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), a natural health supplement, could induce hPXR-mediated regulation of CYP3A4 and MDR1 in human hepatocytes and intestinal cells. DIM, at its physiologically relevant concentrations, not only induced hPXR transactivation of CYP3A4 promoter activity but also induced gene expression of CYP3A4 and MDR1. DIM decreased intracellular accumulation of MDR1 substrate rhodamine 123, suggesting that DIM induces the functional expression of MDR1. Pharmacologic inhibition or genetic knockdown of hPXR resulted in attenuation of DIM induced CYP3A4 and MDR1 gene expression, suggesting that DIM induces CYP3A4 and MDR1 in an hPXR-dependent manner. Together, these results support our conclusion that DIM induces hPXR-regulated CYP3A4 and MDR1 gene expression. The inductive effects of DIM on CYP3A4 and MDR1 expression caution the use of DIM in conjunction with other medications metabolized and transported via CYP3A4 and MDR1, respectively.
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:Nonylphenol (NP), a by-product of alkylphenol ethoxylates, is a pervasive surfactant that activates the xenosensing nuclear receptor, the pregnane X-receptor (PXR) in transactivation assays in vitro. We are interested in determining if NP activates PXR in vivo, determining if hPXR and mPXR act similarly, and investigating the role of PXR in protecting individuals from NP. Wild-type (WT), PXR-null, and humanized PXR (hPXR) mice were treated with NP at 0, 50 or 75mg/kg/day for one week, and cytochrome P450 (CYP) induction, liver histopathology, and serum NP concentrations were examined. WT mice treated with NP showed induction of Cyp2b, and male-specific induction of Cyp2c and Cyp3a. CYPs were not induced in PXR-null mice, demonstrating that PXR is necessary for NP-mediated CYP induction. CAR-mediated CYP induction was not observed in the PXR-null mice despite previous data demonstrating that NP is also a CAR activator. hPXR mice only showed moderate Cyp induction, suggesting that hPXR is not as sensitive to NP as mPXR in vivo. NP-mediated Cyp3a induction from three human hepatocyte donors was not significant, confirming that hPXR is not very sensitive to NP-mediated CYP induction. Lastly, mice with PXR (mPXR and hPXR) showed lower NP serum concentrations than PXR-null mice treated with NP suggesting that PXR plays a role in decreasing liver toxicity by basally regulating phase I-III detoxification enzymes that promote the metabolism and elimination of NP. In summary, PXR is required for NP-mediated CYP-induction, mPXR mediates greater CYP induction than hPXR in vivo, and the presence of PXR, especially mPXR, is associated with altered histopathology and increased clearance of NP.
Project description:Human pregnane X receptor (hPXR) regulates the expression of drug-metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and drug transporters such as multidrug-resistance protein 1 (MDR1). PXR can be modulated by small molecules, including Federal Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, thus altering drug metabolism and causing drug-drug interactions. To determine the role of FDA-approved drugs in PXR-mediated regulation of drug metabolism and clearance, we screened 1481 FDA-approved small-molecule drugs by using a luciferase reporter assay in HEK293T cells and identified the diuretic drug metolazone as an activator of hPXR. Our data showed that metolazone activated hPXR-mediated expression of CYP3A4 and MDR1 in human hepatocytes and intestine cells and increased CYP3A4 promoter activity in various cell lines. Mammalian two-hybrid assays showed that hPXR recruits its co-activator SRC-1 upon metolazone binding in HepG2 cells, explaining the mechanism of hPXR activation. To understand the role of other commonly-used diuretics in hPXR activation and the structure-activity relationship of metolazone, thiazide and non-thiazide diuretics drugs were also tested but only metolazone activates hPXR. To understand the molecular mechanism, docking studies and mutational analysis were carried out and showed that metolazone binds in the ligand-binding pocket and interacts with mostly hydrophobic amino acid residues. This is the first report showing that metolazone activates hPXR. Because activation of hPXR might cause drug-drug interactions, metolazone should be used with caution for drug treatment in patients undergoing combination therapy.
Project description:Acetaminophen (APAP) is safe at therapeutic levels but causes hepatotoxicity via N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine-induced oxidative stress upon overdose. To determine the effect of human (h) pregnane X receptor (PXR) activation and CYP3A4 induction on APAP-induced hepatotoxicity, mice humanized for PXR and CYP3A4 (TgCYP3A4/hPXR) were treated with APAP and rifampicin. Human PXR activation and CYP3A4 induction enhanced APAP-induced hepatotoxicity as revealed by hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities elevated in serum, and hepatic necrosis after coadministration of rifampicin and APAP, compared with APAP administration alone. In contrast, hPXR mice, wild-type mice, and Pxr-null mice exhibited significantly lower ALT/AST levels compared with TgCYP3A4/hPXR mice after APAP administration. Toxicity was coincident with depletion of hepatic glutathione and increased production of hydrogen peroxide, suggesting increased oxidative stress upon hPXR activation. Moreover, mRNA analysis demonstrated that CYP3A4 and other PXR target genes were significantly induced by rifampicin treatment. Urinary metabolomic analysis indicated that cysteine-APAP and its metabolite S-(5-acetylamino-2-hydroxyphenyl)mercaptopyruvic acid were the major contributors to the toxic phenotype. Quantification of plasma APAP metabolites indicated that the APAP dimer formed coincident with increased oxidative stress. In addition, serum metabolomics revealed reduction of lysophosphatidylcholine in the APAP-treated groups. These findings demonstrated that human PXR is involved in regulation of APAP-induced toxicity through CYP3A4-mediated hepatic metabolism of APAP in the presence of PXR ligands.
Project description:Inconsistent expression and regulation of drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) are common causes of adverse drug effects in some drugs with a narrow therapeutic index (TI). An important cytochrome, cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), is predominantly regulated by a nuclear receptor, pregnane X receptor (PXR). Sesamin, a major lignan constituent in sesame seeds and oil, exhibits a variety of biological functions; however, the effect of sesamin on the modulation of CYP3A4 is not well understood. In this study, the effects of sesamin on the PXR-CYP3A4 pathway were characterized, as well as the underlying mechanisms of those effects. Sesamin potently attenuated CYP3A4 induction in a dose-dependent manner by blocking the activation of PXR. The PXR inducer-mediated inhibition of CYP3A4 was further evidenced by the ability of sesamin to attenuate the effects of several PXR ligands in the CYP3A4 reporter assay. Further mechanistic studies showed that sesamin inhibited PXR by interrupting the interacting with coregulators. These results may lead to the development of new therapeutic and dietary approaches to reduce the frequency of inducer-drug interaction. Sesamin was established as a novel inhibitor of PXR and may be useful for modulating DMEs expression and drug efficacies. Modification of CYP3A4 expression and activity by consumption of sesamin may have important implications for drug safety.
Project description:Most hepatoma cell lines lack proper expression and induction of CYP3A4 enzyme, which limits their use for predicting drug metabolism and toxicity. Nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) has been well recognized for its critical role in regulating expression of CYP3A4 gene. However, its physiological activity of binding to the particular site of promoter is significantly weakened in hepatic cell lines. To address this problem, we created "chimeric PXR" constructs by appending a strong activation domain (AD) from p53 subunit to either N- or C- termini of the human PXR (hPXR), that is, hPXR-p53 and p53-hPXR. C3A, a hepatoma cell line, was used as the cell model to test the regulation effect of chimeric hPXR over wild type (WT) hPXR on CYP3A4 expression at gene, protein, and metabolism levels, respectively. Compared with C3A cells transiently transfected with WT hPXR, the activity of CYP3A4.XREM.luc reporter gene in C3A cells transfected with hPXR-p53 or p53-hPXR increased 5- and 9-fold respectively, and the levels of CYP3A4 mRNA expression increased 3.5- and 2.6-fold, respectively. C3A cells stably transfected with hPXR-p53-AD exhibited an improved expression of CYP3A4 at both gene (2-fold) and protein (1.5-fold) levels compared to WT C3A cells. Testosterone, a CYP3A4-specific substrate, was used for detecting the metabolism activity of CYP3A4. No testosterone metabolite could be detected in microsomes from WT C3A cells and WT C3A cells-based array, while the formation of 6?-hydroxytestosterone metabolite in the transfected cells was 714 and 55 pmol/mg protein/min, respectively. In addition, all the above expression levels in the transfected cell models could be further induced with additional treatment of Rifampicin, a specific inducer for CYP3A4. In conclusion, our study established a proof-of-principle example that genetic modification with chimeric hPXR-p53-AD could improve CYP3A4 metabolism ability in hepatic cell line.
Project description:The pregnane X receptor (PXR) plays crucial roles in multiple physiological processes. However, the signaling mechanisms responsible are not well defined; it is most likely that multiple functions of PXR are modulated by its phosphorylation. Therefore, we sought to determine whether mutation at a highly conserved Thr(57) affects human PXR (hPXR) function. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to generate phosphorylation-deficient (hPXR(T57A)) and phosphomimetic (hPXR(T57D)) mutants. Gene reporter, Western blotting, immunocytochemistry, mammalian two-hybrid, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays were used to study cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) promoter activation, protein levels, localization, cofactor interaction, and CYP3A4 promoter binding of the hPXR mutants, respectively. hPXR(T57D), but not hPXR(T57A), lost its transcriptional activity. Neither mutation altered hPXR's protein levels and interaction with steroid receptor coactivator-1. hPXR and hPXR(T57A) exhibited a homogenous nuclear distribution, whereas hPXR(T57D) exhibited a distinctive punctate nuclear localization pattern similar to that of hPXR mutants with impaired function that colocalize with silencing mediator of retinoid and thyroid receptors (SMRT), although silencing of SMRT did not rescue the altered function of hPXR(T57D). However, hPXR(T57D), but not hPXR(T57A), impaired hPXR's ability to bind to the CYP3A4 promoter, consistent with the mutant's transactivation function. Furthermore, the 70-kDa form of ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70 S6K) phosphorylated hPXR in vitro and inhibited its transcriptional activity, whereas hPXR(T57A) partially resisted the inhibitory effect of p70 S6K. Our studies identify a functionally significant phosphomimetic mutant (hPXR(T57D)) and show p70 S6K phosphorylation and regulation of hPXR transactivation to support the notion that phosphorylation plays important roles in regulating hPXR function.
Project description:Pregnane X receptor (PXR) has been reported to regulate the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes, such as the cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) family and transporters, such as multiple drug resistance 1 (MDR1). Fucoxanthin, the major carotenoid in brown sea algae, is a putative chemopreventive agent. In this study, we determined whether fucoxanthin could overcome drug resistance through attenuation of rifampin-induced CYP3A4 and MDR1 gene expression by PXR-mediated pathways in HepG2 hepatoma cells. We found that fucoxanthin (1-10 ?M) significantly attenuated rifampin (20 ?M)-induced CYP3A4, MDR1 mRNA and CYP3A4 protein expression at 24 h of incubation. Mechanistically, fucoxanthin strongly attenuated the PXR-mediated CYP3A4 promoter activity in HepG2 cells. In addition, fucoxanthin attenuated constitutive androstane receptor (CAR)- and rPXR-mediated CYP3A4 promoter activity in this cell line. Using the mammalian two-hybrid assay, we found that fucoxanthin significantly decreased the interaction between PXR and SRC-1, a PXR co-activator. Thus, fucoxanthin can decrease rifampin-induced CYP3A4 and MDR1 expression through attenuation of PXR-mediated CYP3A4 promoter activation and interaction between PXR and co-activator. These findings could lead to potentially important new therapeutic and dietary approaches to reduce the frequency of adverse drug reactions.
Project description:Hemorrhagic shock (HS) is a life-threatening condition associated with tissue hypoperfusion and often leads to injury of multiple organs including the liver. Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a species-specific xenobiotic receptor that regulates the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes (DMEs) such as the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A. Many clinical drugs, including those often prescribed to trauma patients, are known to activate PXR and induce CYP3A. The goal of this study is to determine whether PXR plays a role in the regulation of DMEs in the setting of HS and whether activation of PXR is beneficial or detrimental to HS-induced hepatic injury. PXR transgenic, knockout, and humanized mice were subject to HS, and the liver injury was assessed histologically and biochemically. The expression and/or activity of PXR and CYP3A were manipulated genetically or pharmacologically in order to determine their effects on HS-induced liver injury. Our results showed that genetic or pharmacological activation of PXR sensitized wild-type and hPXR/CYP3A4 humanized mice to HS-induced hepatic injury, whereas knockout of PXR protected mice from HS-induced liver injury. Mechanistically, the sensitizing effect of PXR activation was accounted for by PXR-responsive induction of CYP3A and increased oxidative stress in the liver. The sensitizing effect of PXR was attenuated by ablation or pharmacological inhibition of CYP3A, treatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine amide, or treatment with a PXR antagonist. Conclusion: We have uncovered a function of PXR in HS-induced hepatic injury. Our results suggest that the unavoidable use of PXR-activating drugs in trauma patients has the potential to exacerbate HS-induced hepatic injury, which can be mitigated by the coadministration of antioxidative agents, CYP3A inhibitors, or PXR antagonists.