Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Omeprazole induces NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 via aryl hydrocarbon receptor-independent mechanisms: Role of the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2.

PMID 26441083


Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) transcriptionally induces phase I (cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1) and phase II (NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) detoxifying enzymes. The effects of the classical and nonclassical AhR ligands on phase I and II enzymes are well studied in human hepatocytes. Additionally, we observed that the proton pump inhibitor, omeprazole (OM), transcriptionally induces CYP1A1 in the human adenocarcinoma cell line, H441xa0cells via AhR. Whether OM activates AhR and induces the phase II enzyme, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), in fetal primary human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) is unknown. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that OM will induce NQO1 in HPMEC via the AhR. The concentrations of OM used in our experiments did not result in cytotoxicity. OM activated AhR as evident by increased CYP1A1 mRNA expression. However, contrary to our hypothesis, OM increased NQO1 mRNA and protein via an AhR-independent mechanism as AhR knockdown failed to abrogate OM-mediated increase in NQO1 expression. Interestingly, OM activated Nrf2 as evident by increased phosphoNrf2 (S40) expression in OM-treated compared to vehicle-treated cells. Furthermore, Nrf2 knockdown abrogated OM-mediated increase in NQO1 expression. In conclusion, we provide evidence that OM induces NQO1 via AhR-independent, but Nrf2-dependent mechanisms.