Female-specific regulation of cytochrome P450 3As and their response to xenobiotic stress

Sayeepriyadarshini Anakk, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Cytochrome P450 3As (CYP3As) are phase I enzymes responsible for metabolizing more than 50% of clinical drugs. Recent studies have revealed that expression of CYP3As is two-fold higher in women than in men leading to a faster metabolic clearance of therapeutic drugs in women. In this study, we analyzed the female specific rat CYP3A isoform, CYP3A9. We evaluated the effects of progesterone and estrogen on CYP3A9 regulation and showed a distinct role for estrogen in mediating female dominance of CYP3A9. We also observed changes in CYP3A9 expression at various stages of pregnancy which correlates well with varying physiological estradiol concentrations. In addition, by the in vitro data shows that estradiol mediated induction can be abrogated with estrogen receptor antagonist ICI182,780. We also identified three novel murine CYP3A isoforms CYP3A13, CYP3A41 and CYP3A44 and characterized their genomic structures and expression profiles. CYP3A41 and CYP3A44 show female specific expression but surprisingly this female dominance is not mediated via estrogen. Control male mice did not exhibit any CYP3A41 mRNA levels but showed minimal levels of CYP3A44. In order to gain insights into the governance ofαthe female specific genes, the hepatic regulation of CYP3A41 and CYP3A44 by the xeno-sensors PXR and CAR was examined. In female mice, pregnenolone-16α-carboxynitrile, suppressed CYP3A41 and CYP3A44 mRNA levels in PXR−/− background whereas dexamethasone-dependent suppression of CYP3A41 was mediated by PXR. In addition, phenobarbital challenge in PXR−/− revealed up-regulation of both CYP3A44, CYP3A41 levels only in males. No role for CAR was seen in the regulation of either CYP3A41 or CYP3A44 gene expression in female mice. Interestingly, PXR and CAR ligands induced male CYP3A44 levels in a receptor dependent fashion. This increase of CYP3A44 transcript in male mice is in contrast to the response seen in female mice, which clearly indicates an additional layer of regulation. Our findings suggest that gender plays a strategic role in directing the CAR/PXR mediated effects of CYP3A44/CYP3A41. This implies that differential regulation of female specific CYP3A isoforms may be the key to explain some of the gender differences observed in clearance of certain therapeutics like antidepressants and analgesics.

Subject Area

Biochemistry|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Anakk, Sayeepriyadarshini, "Female-specific regulation of cytochrome P450 3As and their response to xenobiotic stress" (2005). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3160646.