CINPA1 binds directly to constitutive androstane receptor and inhibits its activity.
ABSTRACT: The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR) are xenobiotic sensors that regulate the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes and efflux transporters. CAR activation promotes drug elimination, thereby reducing therapeutic effectiveness, or causes adverse drug effects via toxic metabolites. CAR inhibitors could be used to attenuate these adverse drug effects. CAR and PXR share ligands and target genes, confounding the understanding of the regulation of receptor-specific activity. We previously identified a small-molecule inhibitor, CINPA1, that inhibits CAR (without activating PXR at lower concentrations) by altering CAR-coregulator interactions and reducing CAR recruitment to DNA response elements of regulated genes. However, solid evidence was not presented for the direct binding of CINPA1 to CAR. In this study, we demonstrate direct interaction of CINPA1 with the CAR ligand-binding domain (CAR-LBD) and identify key residues involved in such interactions through a combination of biophysical and computational methods. We found that CINPA1 resides in the ligand-binding pocket to stabilize the CAR-LBD in a more rigid, less fluid state. Molecular dynamics simulations, together with our previously reported docking model, enabled us to predict which CAR residues were critical for interactions with CINPA1. The importance of these residues for CINPA1 binding were then validated by directed mutations and testing the mutant CAR proteins in transcription reporter and coregulatory interaction assays. We demonstrated strong hydrogen bonding of CINPA1 with N165 and H203 and identified other residues involved in hydrophobic contacts with CINPA1. Overall, our data confirm that CINPA1 directly binds to CAR.
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:Constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3) and pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) are master regulators of endobiotic and xenobiotic metabolism and disposition. Because CAR is constitutively active in certain cellular contexts, inhibiting CAR might reduce drug-induced hepatotoxicity and resensitize drug-resistant cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. We recently reported a novel CAR inhibitor/inverse agonist CINPA1 (11). Here, we have obtained or designed 54 analogs of CINPA1 and used a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) assay to evaluate their CAR inhibition potency. Many of the 54 analogs showed CAR inverse agonistic activities higher than those of CINPA1, which has an IC50 value of 687 nM. Among them, 72 has an IC50 value of 11.7 nM, which is about 59-fold more potent than CINPA1 and over 10-fold more potent than clotrimazole (an IC50 value of 126.9 nM), the most potent CAR inverse agonist in a biochemical assay previously reported by others. Docking studies provide a molecular explanation of the structure-activity relationship (SAR) observed experimentally. To our knowledge, this effort is the first chemistry endeavor in designing and identifying potent CAR inverse agonists based on a novel chemical scaffold, leading to 72 as the most potent CAR inverse agonist so far. The 54 chemicals presented are novel and unique tools for characterizing CAR's function, and the SAR information gained from these 54 analogs could guide future efforts to develop improved CAR inverse agonists.
Project description:The nuclear receptors and xenosensors constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3) and pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) induce the expression of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and transporters, which also affects various endobiotics. While human and mouse CAR feature a high basal activity and low induction upon ligand exposure, we recently identified two constitutive androstane receptors in Xenopus laevis (xlCARá and â) that possess PXR-like characteristics such as low basal activity and activation in response to structurally diverse compounds. Using a set of complementary computational and biochemical approaches we provide evidence for xlCARá being the structural and functional counterpart of mammalian PXR. A three-dimensional model of the xlCARá ligand-binding domain (LBD) reveals a human PXR-like L-shaped ligand binding pocket with a larger volume than the binding pockets in human and murine CAR. The shape and amino acid composition of the ligand-binding pocket of xlCAR suggests PXR-like binding of chemically diverse ligands which was confirmed by biochemical methods. Similarly to PXR, xlCARá possesses a flexible helix 11'. Modest increase in the recruitment of coactivator PGC-1á may contribute to the enhanced basal activity of three gain-of-function xlCARá mutants humanizing key LBD amino acid residues. xlCARá and PXR appear to constitute an example of convergent evolution.
Project description:The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) regulates the expression of genes involved in drug metabolism and other processes. A specific inhibitor of CAR is critical for modulating constitutive CAR activity. We recently described a specific small-molecule inhibitor of CAR, CINPA1 (ethyl (5-(diethylglycyl)-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[b,f]azepin-3-yl)carbamate), which is capable of reducing CAR-mediated transcription by changing the coregulator recruitment pattern and reducing CAR occupancy at the promoter regions of its target genes. In this study, we showed that CINPA1 is converted to two main metabolites in human liver microsomes. By using cell-based reporter gene and biochemical coregulator recruitment assays, we showed that although metabolite 1 was very weak in inhibiting CAR function and disrupting CAR-coactivator interaction, metabolite 2 was inactive in this regard. Docking studies using the CAR ligand-binding domain structure showed that although CINPA1 and metabolite 1 can bind in the CAR ligand-binding pocket, metabolite 2 may be incapable of the molecular interactions required for binding. These results indicate that the metabolites of CINPA1 may not interfere with the action of CINPA1. We also used in vitro enzyme assays to identify the cytochrome P450 enzymes responsible for metabolizing CINPA1 in human liver microsomes and showed that CINPA1 was first converted to metabolite 1 by CYP3A4 and then further metabolized by CYP2D6 to metabolite 2. Identification and characterization of the metabolites of CINPA1 enabled structure-activity relationship studies of this family of small molecules and provided information to guide in vivo pharmacological studies.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) are two members of the nuclear receptor superfamily that play major roles in the expression of various drug metabolism enzymes and are known for their ligand promiscuity. As with other nuclear receptors, PXR and CAR are each composed of a ligand-binding domain (LBD) and a DNA-binding domain (DBD) connected by a hinge region. Areas covered: This review focuses on the information obtained over the last 15+ years from X-ray crystallography studies of the structure of PXR and CAR. Areas of focus include the mobility of each structure, based on temperature factors (B factors); multimeric interactions; the binding of coregulators and ligands; and how the crystal structures were obtained. The first use of hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled with mass spectroscopy (HDX-MS) to study compound-protein interactions in the PXR-LBD is also addressed. Expert opinion: X-ray crystallography studies have provided us with an excellent understanding of how the LBDs of each receptor function; however, many questions remain concerning the structure of these receptors. Future research should focus on determining the co-crystal structure of an antagonist bound to PXR and on studying the structural aspects of the full-length CAR and PXR proteins.
Project description:The nuclear hormone receptor (NR) superfamily complement in humans is composed of 48 genes with diverse roles in metabolic homeostasis, development, and detoxification. In general, NRs are strongly conserved between vertebrate species, and few examples of molecular adaptation (positive selection) within this superfamily have been demonstrated. Previous studies utilizing two-species comparisons reveal strong purifying (negative) selection of most NR genes, with two possible exceptions being the ligand-binding domains (LBDs) of the pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3), two proteins involved in the regulation of toxic compound metabolism and elimination. The aim of this study was to apply detailed phylogenetic analysis using maximum likelihood methods to the entire complement of genes in the vertebrate NR superfamily. Analyses were carried out both across all vertebrates and limited to mammals and also separately for the two major domains of NRs, the DNA-binding domain (DBD) and LBD, in addition to the full-length sequences. Additional functional data is also reported for activation of PXR and the vitamin D receptor (VDR; NR1I1) to gain further insight into the evolution of the NR1I subfamily.The NR genes appear to be subject to strong purifying selection, particularly in the DBDs. Estimates of the ratio of the non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution rates (the omega ratio) revealed that only the PXR LBD had a sub-population of codons with an estimated omega ratio greater than 1. CAR was also unusual in showing high relative omega ratios in both the DBD and LBD, a finding that may relate to the recent appearance of the CAR gene (presumably by duplication of a pre-mammalian PXR gene) just prior to the evolution of mammals. Functional analyses of the NR1I subfamily show that human and zebrafish PXRs show similar activation by steroid hormones and early bile salts, properties not shared by sea lamprey, mouse, or human VDRs, or by Xenopus laevis PXRs.NR genes generally show strong sequence conservation and little evidence for positive selection. The main exceptions are PXR and CAR, genes that may have adapted to cross-species differences in toxic compound exposure.
Project description:The pregnane X receptor (PXR) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) are ligand-activated nuclear receptors (NRs) that are notorious for their role in drug metabolism, causing unintended drug-drug interactions and decreasing drug efficacy. They control the xenobiotic detoxification system by regulating the expression of an array of drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters that excrete exogenous chemicals and maintain homeostasis of endogenous metabolites. Much effort has been invested in recognizing potential drugs for clinical use that can activate PXR and CAR to enhance the expression of their target genes, and in identifying PXR and CAR inhibitors that can be used as co-therapeutics to prevent adverse effects. Here, we present current technologies and assays used in the quest to characterize PXR and CAR modulators, which range from biochemical to cell-based and animal models.
Project description:The constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) is a nuclear receptor involved mainly in xenobiotic and endobiotic metabolism regulation. CAR is activated directly by its ligands via the ligand binding domain (LBD) or indirectly by inhibition of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling. We found that leflunomide (LEF) and its main metabolite teriflunomide (TER), both used for autoimmune diseases treatment, induce the prototype CAR target gene CYP2B6 in primary human hepatocytes. As TER was discovered to be an EGF receptor antagonist, we sought to determine if TER is an indirect activator of CAR. In primary human hepatocytes and in differentiated HepaRG cells, we found that LEF and TER up-regulate CAR target genes CYP2B6 and CYP3A4 mRNAs and enzymatic activities. TER stimulated CAR+A mutant translocation into the nucleus but neither LEF nor TER activated the CAR LBD, CAR3 variant or pregnane X receptor (PXR) in gene reporter assays. Interestingly, TER significantly up-regulated CAR mRNA expression, a result which could be a consequence of both EGF receptor and ELK-1 transcription factor inhibition by TER or by TER-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptor (GR), an upstream hormonal regulator of CAR. We can conclude that TER is a novel indirect CAR activator which through EGF inhibition and GR activation controls both detoxification and some intermediary metabolism genes.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Widespread resistance to antimalarial drugs requires combination therapies with increasing risk of pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions. Here, we explore the capacity of antimalarial drugs to induce drug metabolism via activation of constitutive androstane receptors (CAR) by ligand binding. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:A total of 21 selected antimalarials and 11 major metabolites were screened for binding to CAR isoforms using cellular and in vitro CAR-coactivator interaction assays, combined with in silico molecular docking. Identified ligands were further characterized by cell-based assays and primary human hepatocytes were used to elucidate induction of gene expression. KEY RESULTS:Only two artemisinin derivatives arteether and artemether, the metabolite deoxyartemisinin and artemisinin itself demonstrated agonist binding to the major isoforms CAR1 and CAR3, while arteether and artemether were also inverse agonists of CAR2. Dihydroartemisinin and artesunate acted as weak inverse agonists of CAR1. While arteether showed the highest activities in vitro, it was less active than artemisinin in inducing hepatic CYP3A4 gene expression in hepatocytes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Artemisinin derivatives and metabolites differentially affect the activities of CAR isoforms and of the pregnane X receptor (PXR). This negates a common effect of these drugs on CAR/PXR-dependent induction of drug metabolism and further provides an explanation for artemisinin consistently inducing cytochrome P450 genes in vivo, whereas arteether and artemether do not. All these drugs are metabolized very rapidly, but only artemisinin is converted to an enzyme-inducing metabolite. For better understanding of pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction possibilities, the inducing properties of artemisinin metabolites should be considered.
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.