British journal of pharmacology

Byakangelicin induces cytochrome P450 3A4 expression via transactivation of pregnane X receptors in human hepatocytes.

PMID 20942813


Byakangelicin is found in extracts of the root of Angelica dahurica, used in Korea and China as a traditional medicine to treat colds, headache and toothache. As byakangelicin can inhibit the effects of sex hormones, it may increase the catabolism of endogenous hormones. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of byakangelicin on the cytochrome P450 isoform cytochrome (CY) P3A4 in human hepatocytes. Cultures of human hepatocytes and a hepatoma cell line (Huh7 cells) were used. mRNA and protein levels were measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. Plasmid constructs and mutants were prepared by cloning and site-directed mutagenesis. Reporter (luciferase) activity was determined by transient co-transfection experiments. In human primary hepatocytes, byakangelicin markedly induced the expression of CYP3A4 both at the mRNA level (approximately fivefold) and the protein level (approximately threefold) but did not affect expression of human pregnane X receptor (hPXR). In reporter assays, byakangelicin activated CYP3A4 promoter in a concentration-dependent manner (EC₅₀ = 5 µM), and this activation was enhanced by co-transfection with hPXR. Further reporter assays demonstrated that the eNR4 binding element in the CYP3A4 promoter was required for the transcriptional activation of CYP3A4 by byakangelicin. Byakangelicin induced expression and activity of CYP3A4 in human hepatocytes. This induction was achieved by the transactivation of PXR and not by increased expression of PXR. Therefore, byakangelicin is likely to increase the expression of all PXR target genes (such as MDR1) and induce a wide range of drug-drug interactions.

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Biacangelicin, analytical standard