Regulation of NAD(P)H:quininone oxidoreductase by glucocorticoids

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Previous studies in neonatal and adolescent rats as well as adrenalectomized rats have demonstrated that glucocorticoids regulate the expression of the rat NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase gene (QOR). We used primary cultures of rat adult hepatocytes to document that added glucorticoids repress both the basal and 1,2-benzanthracene-induced expression of QOR mRNA by 65–70%. QOR enzyme activity and protein were concomitantly suppressed as well. The monotonic concentration response for repression of QOR gene products up to 100 μM DEX concentration demonstrated that the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) was most likely involved in this process. The lack of effect at higher concentration rules out a role for the Pregnane X receptor in this regulation by DEX. In addition, the anti-glucorticoid RU38486 blocked this negative regulation and the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide had no effect on this repression process. Similar results of GR dependence were observed using a luciferase reporter construct containing the 5′-flanking region of the human QOR gene using HepG2 cells. Collectively, these results demonstrate that GR must directly participate in the negative regulation of QOR gene expression by dexamethasone and other glucocorticoids in vivo.

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