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

Evidence for induced microsomal bilirubin degradation by cytochrome P450 2A5.

Oxidative metabolism of bilirubin (BR) -- a breakdown product of haem with cytoprotective and toxic properties -- is an important route of detoxification in addition to glucuronidation. The major enzyme(s) involved in this oxidative degradation are not known. In this paper, we present evidence for a major role of the hepatic cytochrome P450 2A5 (Cyp2a5) in BR degradation during cadmium intoxication, where the BR levels are elevated following induction of haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Treatment of DBA/2J mice with CdCl(2) induced both the Cyp2a5 and HO-1, and increased the microsomal BR degradation activity. By contrast, the total cytochrome P450 ( CYP) content and the expression of Cyp1a2 were down-regulated by the treatment. The induction of the HO-1 and Cyp2a5 was substantial at the mRNA, protein and enzyme activity levels. In each case, the up-regulation of HO-1 preceded that of Cyp2a5 with a 5-10h interval. BR totally inhibited the microsomal Cyp2a5-dependent coumarin hydroxylase activity, with an IC(50) approximately equal to the substrate concentration. The 7-methoxyresorufin 7-O-demethylase (MROD) activity, catalyzed mainly by the Cyp1a2, was inhibited up to 36% by BR. The microsomal BR degradation was inhibited by coumarin and a monoclonal antibody against the Cyp2a5 by about 90%. Furthermore, 7-methoxyresorufin, a substrate for the Cyp1a2, inhibited BR degradation activity by approximately 20%. In sum, the results strongly suggest a major role for Cyp2a5 in the oxidative degradation of BR. Secondly, the coordinated up-regulation of the HO-1 and Cyp2a5 during Cd-mediated injury implicates a network of enzyme systems in the maintenance of balancing BR production and elimination.[1]


  1. Evidence for induced microsomal bilirubin degradation by cytochrome P450 2A5. Abu-Bakar, A., Moore, M.R., Lang, M.A. Biochem. Pharmacol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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