Thr176 regulates the activity of the mouse nuclear receptor CAR and is conserved in the NR1I subfamily members PXR and VDR

Biochem J. 2005 Jun 1;388(Pt 2):623-30. doi: 10.1042/BJ20041572.


The mouse nuclear receptor CAR (constitutively active receptor) is a transcription factor that is activated by phenobarbital-type inducers such as TCPOBOP {1,4 bis[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene} in liver in vivo. However, CAR is constitutively active in cell-based transfection assays, the molecular mechanism for which has not been elucidated yet. In the model structure of CAR, Thr176 constitutes a part of the ligand-binding surface, but its side chain is not directed toward the surface, instead it forms a hydrogen bond with Thr350 in the AF2 (activation function 2) domain of CAR. Thr350 is known to regulate CAR activity [Ueda, Kakizaki, Negishi, and Sueyoshi (2002) Mol. Pharmacol. 61, 1284-1288]. Thr176 was mutated to various amino acids to examine whether this interaction played a role in conferring the constitutive activity. Hydrophobic and positively charged amino acids at position 176 abrogated the constitutive activity, whereas polar and negatively charged amino acids retained it. When one of the small hydrophobic amino acids, such as alanine or valine, was substituted for threonine, the mutants were fully activated by TCPOBOP. The co-activator SRC-1 (steroid receptor co-activator-1) regulated the activity changes associated with the mutations. Thr248 and Ser230 are the Thr176-corresponding residues in human pregnane X receptor and mouse vitamin D3 receptor respectively, interacting directly with the conserved threonine in the AF2 domains. Thr248 and Ser230 also regulated the ligand-dependent activity of these receptors by augmenting binding of the receptors to SRC-1. Thr176, Thr248 and Ser230 are conserved residues in the NR1I (nuclear receptor 1I) subfamily members and determine their activity.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Constitutive Androstane Receptor
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1
  • Pregnane X Receptor
  • Protein Binding
  • Pyridines
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / physiology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology
  • Receptors, Steroid / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Steroid / physiology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Threonine / chemistry*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • Constitutive Androstane Receptor
  • Pregnane X Receptor
  • Pyridines
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Transcription Factors
  • Threonine
  • 1,4-bis(2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy))benzene
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • NCOA1 protein, human
  • Ncoa1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1