Inhibition of cytochrome P4501-dependent clearance of the endogenous agonist FICZ as a mechanism for activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor
2012 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 109, no 12, 4479-4484 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Altered systemic levels of 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ), an enigmatic endogenous ligand for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), may explain adverse physiological responses evoked by small natural and anthropogenic molecules as well as by oxidative stress and light. We demonstrate here that several different chemical compounds can inhibit the metabolism of FICZ, thereby disrupting the autoregulatory feedback control of cytochrome P4501 systems and other proteins whose expression is regulated by AHR. FICZ is both the most tightly bound endogenous agonist for the AHR and an ideal substrate for cytochrome CYP1A1/1A2 and 1B1, thereby also participating in an autoregulatory loop that keeps its own steady-state concentration low. At very low concentrations FICZ influences circadian rhythms, responses to UV light, homeostasis associated with pro-and anti-inflammatory processes, and genomic stability. Here, we demonstrate that, if its metabolic clearance is compromised, femtomolar background levels of this compound in cell-culture medium are sufficient to up-regulate CYP1A1 mRNA and enzyme activity. The oxidants UVB irradiation and hydrogen peroxide and the model AHR antagonist 3'-methoxy-4'-nitroflavone all inhibited induction of CYP1A1 enzyme activity by FICZ or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, thereby subsequently elevating intracellular levels of FICZ and activating AHR. Taken together, these findings support an indirect mechanism of AHR activation, indicating that AHR activation by molecules with low affinity actually may reflect inhibition of FICZ metabolism and raising questions about the reported promiscuity of the AHR. Accordingly, we propose that prolonged induction of AHR activity through inhibition of CYP1 disturbs feedback regulation of FICZ levels, with potential detrimental consequences.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 109, no 12, 4479-4484 p.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject Molecular Bioscience
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76144DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1118467109ISI: 000301712600032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-76144DiVA: diva2:525931