1. Xenobiotic-mediated regulation of mRNA expression of all members of the human cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1 family has been measured by RT-PCR in the hepatoma cell line, HepG2. Besides the positive control beta -naphthoflavone, the H(+)/K(+)-ATPase inhibitors omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole and the anti-malaria drug primaquine were included in this study. 2. beta-Naphthoflavone, primaquine, omeprazole and lansoprazole increased mRNA levels of CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1. Induction by rabeprazole was significant only for CYP1A1 and CYP1A2, whereas none of the CYP1 mRNAs was induced by pantoprazole. This result was confirmed in primary human hepatocytes. 3. Transcriptional regulation was proved by inhibition of induction with actinomycin D. 4. Increase of CYP1 mRNA was significant after 1 h and maximal after 4 h. CYP1B1, but not CYP1A1 or CYP1A2, was dramatically down-regulated between 4 and 24 h. This decrease was prevented by treatment of cells with actinomycin D after induction, indicating an active transcription-dependent mechanism of CYP1B1 mRNA degradation. 5. In conclusion, xenobiotics inducing CYP1A1 mRNA expression have been shown also to induce CYP1A2 and CYP1B1, differing only with regard to level and time course of induction.