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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differences in the regulation of the classical and the alternative pathway for bile acid synthesis in human liver. No coordinate regulation of CYP7A1 and CYP27A1.

It has been reported that there is a coordinate regulation of sterol 27-hydroxylase (CYP27A1) and cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) in rats. Thus, the levels of the mRNA corresponding to these two enzymes were found to change in the same direction in rat liver and in isolated rat hepatocytes. In contrast, other groups have not seen such regulation of CYP27A1 in rabbit liver or in rat liver when using an activity assay. In the present work, the effect of bile acid treatment on human CYP27A1/luciferase reporter activity was studied in a transient transfection assay in human liver-derived HepG2 cells. Neither the endogenous 27-hydroxylase activity nor the CYP27A1/luciferase reporter activity were down-regulated by treatment of HepG2 cells with chenodeoxycholic acid or taurochenodeoxycholic acid. We also measured CYP27A1 mRNA and CYP7A1 mRNA in liver of humans subjected to treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid, ursodeoxycholic acid, hydroxymethylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitor and a combination of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor and cholestyramine. There was a 60-fold variation in the levels of CYP7A1 mRNA but only a 5-fold variation in the levels of CYP27A1 mRNA. There was no correlation between the two mRNA species. It is concluded that, in humans, there is little or no coordinate regulation of CYP7A1 and CYP27A1 at the transcriptional level, and that CYP27A1 is not subject to a negative feedback control by bile acids. The results underline that marked species differences may exist in mechanisms for control of synthesis of bile acids and cholesterol homeostasis.[1]


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