Induction of PXR-mediated metabolism by beta-carotene

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 May 30;1740(2):162-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2004.11.013. Epub 2004 Dec 8.


beta-carotene is the major carotenoid occurring in the human diet and in the human organism. Besides its function as pro-vitamin A, beta-carotene has been shown to be an activator of the human pregnan X receptor (PXR). PXR is mainly expressed in the liver/intestine and an inducer of enzymes involved in phase I, II and III metabolism. This review is focused on the evaluation of physiological and nutritional relevance of beta-carotene as an inducer of phase I enzymes in the human organism via PXR-mediated mechanisms. Beneficial and detrimental effects of beta-carotene on xenobiotica metabolism and metabolism of various other derivatives will be discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pregnane X Receptor
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / agonists*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Receptors, Steroid / agonists*
  • Receptors, Steroid / metabolism
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Tretinoin / metabolism
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism
  • beta Carotene / pharmacology*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Pregnane X Receptor
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Xenobiotics
  • beta Carotene
  • Tretinoin