Post-transcriptional Regulation of UGT2B10 Hepatic Expression and Activity by Alternative Splicing

Drug Metab Dispos. 2018 May;46(5):514-524. doi: 10.1124/dmd.117.079921. Epub 2018 Feb 9.


The detoxification enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase UGT2B10 is specialized in the N-linked glucuronidation of many drugs and xenobiotics. Preferred substrates possess tertiary aliphatic amines and heterocyclic amines, such as tobacco carcinogens and several antidepressants and antipsychotics. We hypothesized that alternative splicing (AS) constitutes a means to regulate steady-state levels of UGT2B10 and enzyme activity. We established the transcriptome of UGT2B10 in normal and tumoral tissues of multiple individuals. The highest expression was in the liver, where 10 AS transcripts represented 50% of the UGT2B10 transcriptome in 50 normal livers and 44 hepatocellular carcinomas. One abundant class of transcripts involves a novel exonic sequence and leads to two alternative (alt.) variants with novel in-frame C termini of 10 or 65 amino acids. Their hepatic expression was highly variable among individuals, correlated with canonical transcript levels, and was 3.5-fold higher in tumors. Evidence for their translation in liver tissues was acquired by mass spectrometry. In cell models, they colocalized with the enzyme and influenced the conjugation of amitriptyline and levomedetomidine by repressing or activating the enzyme (40%-70%; P < 0.01) in a cell context-specific manner. A high turnover rate for the alt. proteins, regulated by the proteasome, was observed in contrast to the more stable UGT2B10 enzyme. Moreover, a drug-induced remodeling of UGT2B10 splicing was demonstrated in the HepaRG hepatic cell model, which favored alt. variants expression over the canonical transcript. Our findings support a significant contribution of AS in the regulation of UGT2B10 expression in the liver with an impact on enzyme activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alternative Splicing / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / genetics
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional / genetics*
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • UGT2B10 protein, human
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex

Grant support