HNF1 alpha activates the rat UDP glucuronosyltransferase UGT2B1 gene promoter

DNA Cell Biol. 1997 Feb;16(2):207-14. doi: 10.1089/dna.1997.16.207.


The rat UDP glucuronosyltransferase UGT2B1 is expressed mainly in the liver where it glucuronidates steroids and environmental toxins and carcinogens. A region between -42 and -55 bp upstream from the UGT2B1 gene transcription start site was previously identified as sharing sequence similarity with the hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 (HNF1) consensus binding site. In this study, the importance of this region in the regulation of the UGT2B1 gene was confirmed by functional and DNA binding assays. A minimal UGT2B1 gene promoter containing the putative HNF1 binding site was fused to the CAT reporter gene and transfected into HepG2 cells. Only low levels of CAT activity were detected. This activity was increased 50-fold when an HNF1 alpha expression vector was co-transfected with the UGT2B1 promoter CAT construct but was not altered when a HNF1 beta expression vector was used. A UGT2B1 promoter construct with the HNF1-like region deleted was not activated by either co-transfected HNF1 expression vector. DNase 1 footprinting and gel-shift analysis demonstrated that nuclear proteins present in both HepG2 cells and rat liver bind to the HNF1-like element. The presence of HNF1 alpha in these nuclear proteins that bind to the HNF1-like element was confirmed by supershift analysis with antisera to HNF1 alpha. Specific binding of nuclear proteins to the HNF1-like element was not seen in extracts from three cell lines derived from nonhepatic tissues. These data strongly suggest that the liver-enriched factor HNF1 alpha binds to, and activates, the UGT2B1 gene promoter

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
  • Cell Extracts
  • Cell Nucleus
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics*
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cell Extracts
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HNF1A protein, human
  • HNF1B protein, human
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha
  • Hnf1a protein, rat
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta
  • DNA
  • Glucuronosyltransferase