The Effect of High Dose Endotoxin on CYP3A2 Expression in the Rat

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The purpose of our research was two-fold: 1) to further characterize the downregulation of CYP3A2 mRNA, protein, and activity during an acute phase response (APR); 2) most importantly, to relate the time-dependent activation of nuclear proteins to putative DNA binding sequences within the CYP3A2 5′-flanking region, with the loss in CYP3A2 expression.


Rats were injected (2.0 mg/animal, i.p.) with LPS and sacrificed at 1,2, 4, 6, 8, 24, 48, and 72 hours. Hepatic nuclear protein was isolated and analyzed for binding activity to AP-1, NFκB, and NF-IL6 consensus sequences. Hepatic CYP3A2 mRNA levels were determined by solution hybridization and CYP3A2 protein, CYP3A2 activity, and total P450 were measured in hepatic microsomes.


Computer analysis of the 5′-flanking region of CYP3A2 revealed the presence of 5 NF-IL6 and 4 AP-1 putative DNA binding sites. The strongest increase in AP-1 binding activity occurred between 6 and 24 hr, and the alteration in binding complexes to an NF-IL6 oligonucleotide occurred between 4 and 24 hr. Maximum loss in CYP3A2 mRNA occurred at 8 hr post-LPS injection and remained lowered at the 24 hr timepoint. CYP3A2 protein was significantly decreased at 24, 48, and 72 hours post-LPS treatment with corresponding decreases in CYP3A2 activity and total P450.


The changes in NF-IL6 and AP-1 binding after LPS treatment, which appears to correlate with the changes in CYP3A2 mRNA, combined with the presence of putative NF-IL6 and AP-1 sites located in the CYP3A2 5′-flanking region, may indicate a potential role for NF-IL6 and AP-1 in CYP3A2 downregulation during an APR.

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