The transcriptional regulation of the human CYP2C genes

Curr Drug Metab. 2009 Jul;10(6):567-78. doi: 10.2174/138920009789375397. Epub 2009 Jul 15.


In humans, four members of the CYP2C subfamily (CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C18, and CYP2C19) metabolize more than 20% of all therapeutic drugs as well as a number of endogenous compounds. The CYP2C enzymes are found predominantly in the liver, where they comprise approximately 20% of the total cytochrome P450. A variety of xenobiotics such as phenobarbital, rifampicin, and hyperforin have been shown to induce the transcriptional expression of CYP2C genes in primary human hepatocytes and to increase the metabolism of CYP2C substrates in vivo in man. This induction can result in drug-drug interactions, drug tolerance, and therapeutic failure. Several drug-activated nuclear receptors including CAR, PXR, VDR, and GR recognize drug responsive elements within the 5' flanking promoter region of CYP2C genes to mediate the transcriptional upregulation of these genes in response to xenobiotics and steroids. Other nuclear receptors and transcriptional factors including HNF4alpha, HNF3gamma, C/EBPalpha and more recently RORs, have been reported to regulate the constitutive expression of CYP2C genes in liver. The maximum transcriptional induction of CYP2C genes appears to be achieved through a coordinative cross-talk between drug responsive nuclear receptors, hepatic factors, and coactivators. The transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of the expression of CYP2C genes in extrahepatic tissues has received less study, but these may be altered by perturbations from pathological conditions such as ischemia as well as some of the receptors mentioned above.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology


  • cytochrome P-450 CYP2C subfamily
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System