Molecular mechanisms of cold-induced CYP1A activation in rat liver microsomes

J Physiol Biochem. 2011 Dec;67(4):499-510. doi: 10.1007/s13105-011-0095-1. Epub 2011 Apr 20.


Cytochrome P4501A (the CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 enzymes) is known to metabolize anthropogenic xenobiotics to carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds. CYP1A1 transcriptional activation is regulated via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-dependent signal transduction pathway. CYP1A2 activation may occur through the AhR-dependent or AhR-independent signal transduction pathways. We used male Wistar rats to explore possible mechanisms of CYP1A activation induced by exposure to cold and the effects of the protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitors genistein, herbimycin A, and geldanamycin on the properties of hepatic CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 proteins following exposure to cold and to classic CYP1A inducers. The molecular mechanisms of cold-induced CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 activation are different. The CYP1A2 activation apparently occurs at the post-transcriptional level. The CYP1A1 activation, whether caused by exposure to cold or by classic CYP1A inducers, is AhR-dependent and occurs at the transcriptional level. Protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors have no effect on benzo(a)pyrene-induced CYP1A expression but alter cold-induced CYP1A1 activity and the CYP1A1 mRNA level. Thus, treatment with herbimycin A or geldanamycin leads to an increase in CYP1A1 activity, while treatment with genistein increases CYP1A1 mRNA expression and decreases CYP1A2 activity. These data elucidate the molecular mechanisms of cold-induced CYP1A activation and the role of protein kinases in the regulation of CYP1A during exposure to cold. Our results can also help identify the differences between the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of the classic CYP1A inducers and the effects of cooling.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / pharmacology
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacology
  • Cold Temperature
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / drug effects
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 / drug effects
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Genistein / pharmacology
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / drug effects
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / metabolism*
  • Rifabutin / analogs & derivatives
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Benzoquinones
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon
  • Rifabutin
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • herbimycin
  • Genistein
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • geldanamycin