Date of Graduation

5-2011

Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Henry W. Strobel Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pramod Dash Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jianping Jin Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julia E. Lever Ph.D.

Committee Member

William E. Seifert Ph.D.

Abstract

CYP4F (Cytochrome P4504F) enzymes metabolize endogenous molecules including leukotrienes, prostaglandins and arachidonic acid. The involvement of these endogenous compounds in inflammation has led to the hypothesis that changes in the inflamed tissue environment may affect the expression of CYP4Fs during the pro-inflammatory state, which in turn may modulate inflammatory conditions during the anti-inflammatory state. We demonstrated that inflamed tissues have different levels of CYP4F isoform expression profiles in a number of human samples when compared to the average population. The CYP4F isoform expression levels change with the degree of inflammation present in tissue. Further investigation in cell culture studies revealed that inflammatory cytokines, in particular TNF-α, play a role in regulating the expression of the CYP4F family. One of the isoforms, CYP4F11, had different characteristics than that of the other five CYP4F family members. CYP4F11 metabolizes xenobiotics while the other isoforms metabolize endogenous compounds with higher affinity. CYP4F11 also was expressed at high quantities in the brain, and was up-regulated by TNF-α, while the other isoforms were not expressed at high quantities in the brain and were down-regulated by TNF-α. We identified the AP-1 protein of the JNK pathway as the signaling protein that causes significant increase in CYP4F11 expression. Since TNF-α stimulation causes a simultaneous activation of both JNK pathway and NF-κB signaling, we investigated further the role that NF-κB plays on expression of the CYP4F11 gene. We concluded that although there is a significant increase in CYP4F11 expression in the presence of TNF-α, the activation of NF-κB signaling inhibits CYP4F11 expression in a time dependent manner. The expression of CYP4F11 is only significantly increased after 24 hours of treatment with TNF-α; at shorter time points NF-κB signaling overpowers the JNK pathway activation. We believe that these findings may in the future lead to improved drug design for modulating inflammation.

Keywords

Cytochrome P450, CYP4F, NF-κB, TNF-α, Gene Regulation, Gene Expression, Human Tissue