Pregnane X receptor prevents hepatorenal toxicity from cholesterol metabolites.
ABSTRACT: 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:Cholestasis is associated with accumulation of bile acids and lipids, and liver injury. The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) are xenobiotic nuclear receptors that coordinate protective hepatic responses to potentially toxic stimuli, including bile acids. We investigated the role of these receptors in the regulation of bile acid and lipid metabolism in a bile duct ligation (BDL) model of cholestasis applied to receptor knockout mice. Hepatic damage from bile acid accumulation was increased in both CAR knockout (CARKO) and PXR knockout mice, but bile acid concentrations were lower in CARKO mice. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was elevated in CARKO mice, and serum total cholesterol increased less in CARKO or PXR knockout mice than WT mice after BDL. Gene expression analysis of the BDL knockout animals demonstrated that, in response to cholestasis, PXR and CAR both repressed and induced the specific hepatic membrane transporters Oatp-c (organic anion transporting polypeptide C) and Oatp2 (Na+-dependent organic anion transporter 2), respectively. Induction of the xenobiotic transporter multidrug resistance protein 1 in cholestasis was independent of either PXR or CAR, in contrast to the known pattern of induction of multidrug resistance protein 1 by xenobiotics. These results demonstrate that CAR and PXR influence cholesterol metabolism and bile acid synthesis, as well as multiple detoxification pathways, and suggest their potential role as therapeutic targets for the treatment of cholestasis and lipid disorders.
Project description:Cholesterol gallstone disease (CGD) results from a biochemical imbalance of lipids and bile salts in the gallbladder bile. We investigated whether the xenobiotic receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR) has a role in pathogenesis of CGD.Wild-type, PXR-null (PXR-/-), and CGD-sensitive C57L mice were placed on a lithogenic diet and then analyzed for CGD at the biochemical, histological, and gene-regulation levels.Loss of PXR sensitized mice to lithogenic diet-induced CGD, characterized by decreases in biliary concentrations of bile salts and phospholipids and an increases in the cholesterol saturation index and formation of cholesterol crystals. The decreased bile acid pool size in PXR-/- mice that received lithogenic diets was associated with reduced expression of cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol catabolism and bile acid formation. The reduced expression of cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase most likely resulted from activation of farnesoid X receptor and induction of fibroblast growth factor 15 in the intestine. In C57L mice given the PXR agonist, pregnenolone-16?-carbonitrile, or the herbal medicine, St John's wort, cholesterol precipitation was prevented by increases in concentrations of biliary bile salt and a reduced cholesterol saturation index. PXR prevented CGD via its coordinate regulation of the biosynthesis and transport of bile salts in the liver and intestine.PXR maintains biliary bile acid homeostasis and may be developed as a therapeutic target for CGD.
Project description:During middle age, women are less susceptible to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) than men. Thus, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms behind these sexual differences using an established rat model of NASH. Mature female and male stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive 5/Dmcr rats were fed control or high-fat-cholesterol (HFC) diets for 2, 8, and 14 weeks. Although HFC-induced hepatic fibrosis was markedly less severe in females than in males, only minor gender differences were observed in expression levels of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP)7A1, CYP8B1 CYP27A1, and CYP7B1, and multidrug resistance-associated protein 3, and bile salt export pump, which are involved in fibrosis-related bile acid (BA) kinetics. However, the BA detoxification-related enzymes UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) and sulfotransferase (SULT) 2A1, and the nuclear receptors constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR), were strongly suppressed in HFC-fed males, and were only slightly changed in HFC-diet fed females. Expression levels of the farnesoid X receptor and its small heterodimer partner were similarly regulated in a gender-dependent fashion following HFC feeding. Hence, the pronounced female resistance to HFC-induced liver damage likely reflects sustained expression of the nuclear receptors CAR and PXR and the BA detoxification enzymes UGT and SULT.
Project description:Through a multiplex promoter spanning 218 kb, the phase II UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A (UGT1) gene encodes at least eight differently regulated mRNAs whose protein products function as the principal means to eliminate a vast array of steroids, heme metabolites, environmental toxins, and drugs. The orphan nuclear receptors pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) were originally identified as sensors able to respond to numerous environmentally derived foreign compounds (xenobiotics) to promote detoxification by phase I cytochrome P450 genes. In this report, we show that both receptors can induce specific UGT1A isoforms including those involved in estrogen, thyroxin, bilirubin, and carcinogen metabolism. Transgenic mice expressing a constitutively active form of human PXR show markedly increased UGT activity toward steroid, heme, and carcinogens, enhanced bilirubin clearance, as well as massively increased steroid clearance. The ability of PXR and constitutive androstane receptor and their ligands to transduce both the phase I and phase II adaptive hepatic response defines a unique transcriptional interface that bridges the ingestion and metabolism of environmental compounds to body physiology.
Project description:Our previous microarray expression analysis of the long-lived Little mice (Ghrhr(lit/lit)) showed a concerted up-regulation of xenobiotic detoxification genes. Here, we show that this up-regulation is associated with a potent increase in resistance against the adverse effects of a variety of xenobiotics, including the hepatotoxins acetaminophen and bromobenzene and the paralyzing agent zoxazolamine. The classic xenobiotic receptors Car (Constitutive Androstane Receptor) and Pxr (Pregnane X Receptor) are considered key regulators of xenobiotic metabolism. Using double and triple knockout/mutant mouse models we found, however, that Car and Pxr are not required for the up-regulation of xenobiotic genes in Little mice. Our results suggest instead that bile acids and the primary bile acid receptor Fxr (farnesoid X receptor) are likely mediators of the up-regulation of xenobiotic detoxification genes in Little mice. Bile acid levels are considerably elevated in the bile, serum, and liver of Little mice. We found that treatment of wild-type animals with cholic acid, one of the major bile acids elevated in Little mice, mimics in large part the up-regulation of xenobiotic detoxification genes observed in Little mice. Additionally, the loss of Fxr had a major effect on the expression of the xenobiotic detoxification genes up-regulated in Little mice. A large fraction of these genes lost or decreased their high expression levels in double mutant mice for Fxr and Ghrhr. The alterations in xenobiotic metabolism in Little mice constitute a form of increased stress resistance and may contribute to the extended longevity of these mice.
Project description:Endothelial cells (ECs) are constantly exposed to xenobiotics and endobiotics or their metabolites, which perturb EC function, as well as to shear stress, which plays a crucial role in vascular homeostasis. Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a nuclear receptor and a key regulator of the detoxification of xeno- and endobiotics. Here we show that laminar shear stress (LSS), the atheroprotective flow, activates PXR in ECs, whereas oscillatory shear stress, the atheroprone flow, suppresses PXR. LSS activation of PXR in cultured ECs led to the increased expression of a PXR target gene, multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1). An in vivo study using rats showed that the expression of MDR1 was significantly higher in the endothelium from the descending thoracic aorta, where flow is mostly laminar, than from the inner curvature of aortic arch, where flow is disturbed. Functionally, LSS-activated PXR protects ECs from apoptosis triggered by doxorubicin via the induction of MDR1 and other detoxification genes. PXR also suppressed the expression of proinflammatory adhesion molecules and monocyte adhesion in response to TNF-? and lipopolysaccharide. Overexpression of a constitutively active PXR in rat carotid arteries potently attenuated proinflammatory responses. In addition, cDNA microarray revealed a large number of the PXR-activated endothelial genes whose products are responsible for major steps of detoxification, including phase I and II metabolizing enzymes and transporters. These detoxification genes in ECs are induced by LSS in ECs in a PXR-dependent manner. In conclusion, our results indicate that PXR represents a flow-activated detoxification system to protect ECs against damage by xeno- and endobiotics.
Project description:The pregnane X receptor (PXR) is the molecular target for catatoxic steroids such as pregnenolone 16alpha-carbonitrile (PCN), which induce cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) expression and protect the body from harmful chemicals. In this study, we demonstrate that PXR is activated by the toxic bile acid lithocholic acid (LCA) and its 3-keto metabolite. Furthermore, we show that PXR regulates the expression of genes involved in the biosynthesis, transport, and metabolism of bile acids including cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1) and the Na(+)-independent organic anion transporter 2 (Oatp2). Finally, we demonstrate that activation of PXR protects against severe liver damage induced by LCA. Based on these data, we propose that PXR serves as a physiological sensor of LCA, and coordinately regulates gene expression to reduce the concentrations of this toxic bile acid. These findings suggest that PXR agonists may prove useful in the treatment of human cholestatic liver disease.
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:The pregnane?X?receptor (PXR) is a principal xenobiotic receptor crucial in the detection, detoxification, and clearance of toxic substances from the body. PXR plays a vital role in the metabolism and disposition of drugs, and elevated PXR levels contribute to cancer drug resistance. Therefore, to modulate PXR activity and mitigate drug resistance, it is imperative to fully understand its regulation. To this end, we screened a transcription factor siRNA library in pancreatic cancer cells that express high levels of PXR. Through a comprehensive deconvolution process, we identified N-alpha-acetyltransferase 10 (NAA10) as a factor in the transcriptional machinery regulating PXR transcription. Because no one single factor has 100% operational control of PXR transcriptional regulation, our results together with other previous findings suggest that the transcriptional regulation of PXR is complex and that multiple factors contribute to the process including NAA10.
Project description:Pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) is a member of the ligand-activated nuclear receptor superfamily. This receptor is promiscuous in its activation profile and is responsive to a broad array of both endobiotic and xenobiotic ligands. PXR is involved in pivotal cellular detoxification processes to include the regulation of genes that encode key drug-metabolizing cytochrome-P450 enzymes, oxidative stress response, as well as enzymes that drive steroid and bile acid metabolism. While PXR clearly has important regulatory roles in the liver and gastrointestinal tract, this nuclear receptor also has biological functions in breast tissue. In this review, we highlight current knowledge of PXR's role in mammary tumor carcinogenesis. The elevated level of PXR expression in cancerous breast tissue suggests a likely interface between aberrant cell division and xeno-protection in cancer cells. Moreover, PXR itself exerts positive effect on the cell cycle, thereby predisposing tumor cells to unchecked proliferation. Activation of PXR also plays a key role in regulating apoptosis, as well as in acquired resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. The repressive role of PXR in regulating inflammatory mediators along with the existence of genetic polymorphisms within the sequence of the PXR gene may predispose individuals to developing breast cancer. Further investigations into the role that PXR plays in driving tumorigenesis are needed.