Tissue distribution and gender-divergent expression of 78 cytochrome P450 mRNAs in mice

Toxicol Sci. 2011 Dec;124(2):261-77. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfr240. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Cytochrome P450 (Cyp) enzymes from the first four families (Cyp1-4) play a major role in metabolizing xenobiotics, affecting drug pharmacokinetics and chemical-induced toxicity. Due to cloning of the mouse genome, many novel Cyp isoforms have been identified, but their tissue distribution of expression is unknown. This study compared the tissue distribution of all 78 Cyps from the Cyp1-4 families in C57BL/6 mice providing not only an indication of which tissues novel Cyps may have their greatest importance but also a cohesive comparison of the tissue distribution of all Cyp1-4 isoforms. Transcripts of the 78 Cyps were quantified by multiplex suspension arrays and quantitative real-time PCR in 14 tissues. Hierarchical clustering indicated that in male mice, 52% of the Cyp species were expressed highest in liver, 10% in kidney, 10% in duodenum/jejunum, 10% in testes, 5% in lung, and < 4% in colon, brain, heart, and stomach. Female mice had a similar pattern of Cyp messenger RNA expression; however, compared with males, females had 7% more Cyps that were liver predominant, 2% more Cyps that were stomach predominant, but 1% less Cyps that were kidney and lung predominant. Differences in gender expression were observed in 29 of the Cyps, with 24 being higher in females than males. Additionally, the data suggest a correlation between the spatial arrangement of genes within a gene cluster and their organ-predominant expression, indicating a common regulatory mechanism may be present within these clusters. In conclusion, this study provides novel data on the tissue distribution and gender-divergent expression of 78 functional mouse Cyp isoforms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Intestine, Small / enzymology
  • Isoenzymes
  • Kidney / enzymology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Specificity
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Testis / enzymology
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacokinetics


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Xenobiotics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System