Xenobiotic- and vitamin D-responsive induction of the steroid/bile acid-sulfotransferase Sult2A1 in young and old mice: The role of a gene enhancer in the liver chromatin

Young Kyo Seo, Yoon Tae Chung, Soyoung Kim, Ibtissam Echchgadda, Chung S. Song, Bandana Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The xenobiotic-activated nuclear receptors PXR (pregnane X receptor) and CAR (constitutive androstane receptor) and the vitamin D3-activated nuclear receptor VDR regulate steroid and xenobiotic metabolism by inducing the phase I cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, phase II conjugating transferases, and the phase III transporters, which mediate the efflux of water-soluble lipid metabolites from cells. Metabolic stress due to the deviant expression of steroid- and xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes is known to have severe health consequences including accelerated aging, and increased expression of these enzymes is associated with extended longevity [Gachon, F, Olela, FF, Schaad, O, Descombes, P and Schibler, U, 2006. The circadian PAR-domain basic leucine zipper transcription factors DBP, TEF, and HLF modulate basal and inducible xenobiotic detoxification. 4, 25-36.; McElwee, JJ, Schuster, E, Blanc, E, Thomas, JH and Gems, D, 2004. Shared Transcriptional Signature in Caenorhabditis elegans Dauer Larvae and Long-lived daf-2 Mutants Implicates Detoxification System in Longevity Assurance. J. Biol. Chem., 279, 44533-43.]. Information on the similarities and dissimilarities in drug metabolism between the young and old, as may be uncovered by studying aging regulation of the genes relevant to steroid and xenobiotic metabolism, is likely to have clinical significance. In this report, we examined the VDR- and PXR-mediated gene induction of the phase II sulfotransferase Sult2A1 in the livers of 4-month- and 20-month-old mice. Sult2A1 converts bile acids, steroids and a number of drugs to the corresponding sulfated metabolites, which are readily eliminated from the body due to increased water solubility. In RT-PCR assay, aging did not change the induction of Sult2A1 mRNAs by the hormonally active vitamin D3 and the catatoxic synthetic steroid PCN (pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) from liver nuclei showed that aging had no effect on the activity of an IR0 enhancer in the Sult2A1 chromatin to recruit VDR, RXR-α (retinoid X receptor) and PXR in mice injected with D3 or PCN. Thus, mice in late life are as competent as those in early life in responding to the hormonal and xenobiotic signaling for Sult2A1 induction. This is the first report describing the role of aging in the functional response of an enhancer in the liver chromatin to the nuclear receptor-dependent signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2007


  • Aging
  • Gene enhancer
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Sulfotransferase
  • Tissue ChIP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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