Transcriptional regulation of the human CYP1B1 gene. Evidence for involvement of an aryl hydrocarbon receptor response element in constitutive expression

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Toxicology

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Document Type



Acetylation; *Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases; Base Sequence; Cycloheximide; Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System; DNA Methylation; Enhancer Elements (Genetics); *Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic; Histones; Humans; Molecular Sequence Data; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon; Response Elements; Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin; Transcription, Genetic; Tumor Cells, Cultured


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The cytochrome P450 1B1 gene (CYP1B1) is expressed constitutively and is inducible by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in the human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7 but not in the human hepatoma cell line HepG2. Genomic DNA isolated from both cell lines was digested with the methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme isoschizomers MspI and HpaII, and subjected to Southern analysis with a probe for the CYP1B1 promoter/enhancer region. Although differences were observed in methylation patterns for the CYP1B1 gene from MCF-7 and HepG2 cells, treatment with the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (10 microM for 6 days) did not activate CYP1B1 mRNA expression in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (100 nM for 24 h) did not activate CYP1B1 mRNA expression in HepG2 cells. Comparative analysis of the constitutive expression of luciferase/1B1 reporter constructs containing a series of deletions in the 5' enhancer region indicated that in MCF-7 cells the region from -987 to -732 (relative to the transcription start site) was necessary for maximal levels of activity. Mutation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor response elements (dioxin response elements) in this region showed that the dioxin response elements located at -833 is essential for constitutive gene expression in MCF-7 cells. In HepG2 cells, reporter gene activity was at least equal or greater than the activity observed in MCF-7 cells, which is in marked contrast to the expression of the native CYP1B1 gene. Taken together these findings indicate that the observed cell-specific differences in CYP1B1 constitutive expression are not mediated by DNA promoter/enhancer methylation, but are likely due to either 1) inaccessibility of the 5'-enhancer region in HepG2 cells to transcriptional activators due to a higher order chromatin structure that does not involve histone acetylation, or 2) the action of a repressor protein at cis-elements located outside of the -2296 to +25 region examined with the CYP1B1 reporter constructs. Furthermore, at least one of the dioxin response elements in the enhancer region is required for constitutive expression of CYP1B1.


J Biol Chem. 2000 Mar 10;275(10):6770-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry

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