Inhibition of protein synthesis increases the transcription of the phenobarbital-inducible CYP2H1 and CYP2H2 genes in chick embryo hepatocytes

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Oct;298(1):96-104. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(92)90099-i.


The mechanism by which phenobarbital and similar compounds regulate gene expression has remained elusive for many years despite intense investigation. We had previously reported that the mRNA expression for the phenobarbital-inducible CYP2H1 gene was increased by cycloheximide treatment as rapidly and to a similar extent as by the phenobarbital-type drugs glutethimide and 2-propyl-2-isopropylacetamide (PIA), in primary cultures of chick embryo hepatocytes or in chick embryo liver in vivo (J. W. Hamilton, W. J. Bement, P. R. Sinclair, J. F. Sinclair, and K. E. Wetterhahn, 1988, Biochem. J. 255, 267-275). To examine the mechanism of this induction further, we determined the effects of various structurally related and unrelated inhibitors of protein synthesis on CYP2H1 expression in cultured chick embryo hepatocytes. Cycloheximide increased the transcription rate of the CYP2H1/2 genes to a similar extent as did PIA, and had little or no effect on CYP2H1 mRNA half-life. A number of other protein synthesis inhibitors, including streptovitacin, acetoxycycloheximide, pactamycin, and ricin, all increased CYP2H1 mRNA expression to a similar extent. The dose responses for induction of CYP2H1 mRNA and inhibition of protein synthesis by these agents were closely correlated. There was no relationship between the effectiveness of these agents to induce CYP2H1 mRNA expression and their structures or lipophilicity. Cycloheximide acetate required deesterification to cycloheximide for both inhibition of protein synthesis and induction of CYP2H1 mRNA. These results suggest that a labile negative regulatory protein is involved in CYP2H1/2 gene expression. It is also possible that this factor is involved in regulating the phenobarbital response of CYP2H1/2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Liver / embryology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nitrophenols / pharmacology
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Phenobarbital / pharmacology*
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*


  • Nitrophenols
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • bis(4-nitrophenyl)phosphate
  • Cycloheximide
  • Phenobarbital