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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Xenobiotic-inducible expression of murine glutathione S-transferase Ya subunit gene is controlled by an electrophile-responsive element.


PMID 2166952

Abstract

Glutathione S-transferase (GST) Ya subunit gene expression is induced in mammalian tissues by two types of chemical agents: (i) planar aromatic compounds (e.g., 3-methylcholanthrene, beta-naphthoflavone, and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p- dioxin) and (ii) electrophiles (e.g., trans-4-phenyl-3-buten-2-one and dimethyl fumarate) or compounds easily oxidized to electrophiles (e.g., tert-butylhydroquinone). To study the mechanism of this induction, we have introduced deletions in the 5' flanking region of a mouse GST Ya subunit gene, fused it to the coding sequence for chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) activity, and transfected the Ya-CAT genes for expression into hepatoma cells. We show that a single cis-regulatory element, between nucleotides -754 and -713 from the start of transcription, is responsible for the induction by both planar aromatic and electrophilic compounds. Using murine hepatoma cell mutants defective in either the Ah-encoded aryl hydrocarbon receptor (BPrc1 mutant) or in cytochrome P1-450 gene (c1 mutant), we show that induction by planar aromatic but not by electrophilic inducers requires a functional Ah receptor and cytochrome P1-450 activity. From this it is concluded that Ya gene activation by planar aromatic compounds involves metabolism of these inducers by the phase I xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochrome P1-450 system into electrophilic compounds, which is consistent with a recently proposed model [Prochaska, H. J. & Talalay, P. (1988) Cancer Res. 48, 4776-4782]. Therefore, the regulatory sequence of the Ya gene should be considered an electrophile-responsive element (EpRE) activated exclusively by inducers containing an electrophilic center. An EpRE-containing 41-bp oligonucleotide ligated at the -187 site of the Ya gene promoter confers upon it an increase in basal activity and xenobiotic inducibility. The basal activity augments with the number of EpRE copies. DNase I protection patterns show the protection of the EpRE domain by a nuclear factor(s) that becomes more abundant upon exposure of Hepa 1c1c7 cells to tert-butylhydroquinone.

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