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Drug Metabolism Letters


ISSN (Print): 1872-3128
ISSN (Online): 1874-0758

Induction of Human UGT1A1 by Bilirubin Through AhR Dependent Pathway

Author(s): Hiroshi Togawa, Shigeko Shinkai and Takaharu Mizutani

Volume 2, Issue 4, 2008

Page: [231 - 237] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/187231208786734120

Price: $65


UDP-glucuronosyltransferase1A1 (UGT1A1) plays a key role to conjugate bilirubin and preventing jaundice, but there is no report showing the induction of human UGT1A1 (UGT1A1) by bilirubin. In this report, we show findings of the induction of the reporter gene (-3475/+14) of UGT1A1 in HepG2 cells by bilirubin at 50 μM, 100 μM, with human aryl hydrocarbon receptor (hAhR). We confirmed that induction of the reporter gene by bilirubin is dependent on the position of the xenobiotic responsive element (XRE) (-3328/-3319) of UGT1A1, because the XRE deletion UGT1A1 gene did not respond to stimulation by a complex of bilirubin and hAhR. α-Naphthoflavone (α-NF) of a typical AhR antagonist at 50 μM inhibited induction by bilirubin, suggesting that bilirubin stimulates through binding with hAhR. Meanwhile, bilirubin itself did not stimulate the induction of AhR, because we detected no-elevation of the mRNA level of AhR by RTPCR. These results indicate that the induction of UGT1A1 by bilirubin-AhR did not depend on the elevation of AhR but on ligand binding. From this result, we considered that high bilirubin in neonates must induce the elevation of UGT1A1 after birth to prevent jaundice, and bilirubin in adults also regulates the level of UGT1A1. This is the first report showing direct induction of UGT1A1 by a bilirubin through AhR pathway.

Keywords: UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, UGT1A1, bilirubin, aryl hydrocarbon receptor, xenobiotic responsive element

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