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

Transcriptional Repression of Hepatic Cytochrome P450 3A4 Gene in the Presence of Cancer.

PURPOSE: Many chemotherapeutic drugs have an inherent lack of safety due to interindividual variability of hepatic cytochrome P450 ( CYP) 3A4 drug metabolism. This reduction in CYP3A4 in cancer patients is possibly mediated by cytokines associated with tumor-derived inflammation. We sought to examine this link by using an explant sarcoma in a novel transgenic mouse model of human CYP3A4 regulation. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm sarcoma cells were injected into the hindlimb of transgenic CYP3A4/lacZ mice. Hepatic expression of the human CYP3A4 transgene was analyzed by direct measurement of the reporter gene product, beta-galactosidase enzyme activity. Hepatic expression of murine Cyp3a was analyzed at the mRNA, protein, and function levels. The acute phase response was assessed by examining cytokines [interleukin-6 ( IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor] in serum, liver, or tumor as well as hepatic expression of serum amyloid protein P. RESULTS: Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm sarcoma elicited an acute phase response that coincided with down-regulation of the human CYP3A4 transgene in the liver as well as the mouse orthologue Cyp3a11. The reduction of murine hepatic Cyp3a gene expression in tumor-bearing mice resulted in decreased Cyp3a protein expression and consequently a significant reduction in Cyp3a-mediated metabolism of midazolam. Circulating IL-6 was elevated and IL-6 protein was only detected in tumor tissue but not in hepatic tissue. CONCLUSIONS: The current study provides a mechanistic link between cancer-associated inflammation and impaired drug metabolism in vivo. Targeted therapy to reduce inflammation may provide improved clinical benefit for chemotherapy drugs metabolized by hepatic CYP3A4 by improving their pharmacokinetic profile.[1]


  1. Transcriptional Repression of Hepatic Cytochrome P450 3A4 Gene in the Presence of Cancer. Charles, K.A., Rivory, L.P., Brown, S.L., Liddle, C., Clarke, S.J., Robertson, G.R. Clin. Cancer Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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