Kim Journault

Laval University, Québec, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (8)30.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The gene UGT1 encodes phase II detoxification proteins involved in the elimination of small hydrophobic substances of both endogenous and exogenous origin. To date, nine functional UGT1A proteins are known to be produced from a single gene composed of alternative first exons shared with four common exons. Recently, a novel exon (referred to as exon 5b) was identified in the common shared region. We now reveal a novel alternative splicing mechanism and demonstrate that the exon 5a and the new exon 5b are alternatively spliced, generating several variant mRNAs and up to nine previously unknown variant UGT1A proteins, referred to as isoforms 2 or i2. Isoform-specific RT-PCR analyses reveal that the alternatively spliced mRNAs are widely distributed in human tissues. Immunoreactive proteins at the predicted molecular weight of approximately 45 kDa were confirmed in microsomes of human tissues using antibodies against UGT1A1 and anti-UGT1A7/8/9/10. Functional enzyme assays demonstrate that i2 proteins containing exon 5b are enzymatically inactive. On the other hand, co-expression experiments of i2 of UGT1A1, UGT1A7, UGT1A8 and UGT1A9 with their classical isoform 1 homologs results in a significant repression (15 to 79%) of UGT1A_i1-mediated drug metabolism. The UGT1A isoforms 2 act as negative modulators of their isoform 1 homologs in microsome preparations, revealing a new regulatory mechanism of the glucuronidation pathway. Findings further provide the first direct evidence of a novel alternative splicing mechanism at the 3' end of the UGT1 locus that further increases the number of proteins derived from this single gene.
    Pharmacogenetics and Genomics 01/2008; 17(12):1077-89. DOI:10.1097/FPC.0b013e3282f1f118 · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) is involved in a wide range of biological and pharmacological processes because of its critical role in the conjugation of a diverse array of endogenous and exogenous compounds. We now describe a new UGT1A1 isoform, referred to as isoform 2 (UGT1A1_i2), encoded by a 1495-bp complementary DNA isolated from human liver and generated by an alternative splicing event involving an additional exon found at the 3' end of the UGT1A locus. The N-terminal portion of the 45-kd UGT1A1_i2 protein is identical to UGT1A1 (55 kd, UGT1A1_i1); however, UGT1A1_i2 contains a unique 10-residue sequence instead of the 99-amino acid C-terminal domain of UGT1A1_i1. RT-PCR and Western blot analyses with a specific antibody against UGT1A1 indicate that isoform 2 is differentially expressed in liver, kidney, colon, and small intestine at levels that reach or exceed, for some tissues, those of isoform 1. Western blots of different cell fractions and immunofluorescence experiments indicate that UGT1A1_i1 and UGT1A1_i2 colocalize in microsomes. Functional enzymatic data indicate that UGT1A1_i2, which lacks transferase activity when stably expressed alone in HEK293 cells, acts as a negative modulator of UGT1A1_i1, decreasing its activity by up to 78%. Coimmunoprecipitation of UGT1A1_i1 and UGT1A1_i2 suggests that this repression may occur via direct protein-protein interactions. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that this newly discovered alternative splicing mechanism at the UGT1A locus amplifies the structural diversity of human UGT proteins and describes the identification of an additional posttranscriptional regulatory mechanism of the glucuronidation pathway.
    Hepatology 01/2007; 45(1):128-38. DOI:10.1002/hep.21464 · 11.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycophenolic acid (MPA) is the active metabolite of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), a standard immunosuppressive drug approved for clinical use in the prevention of acute allograft rejection after organ transplantation. This study examines the role of the genetic variants of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A8 and 2B7 enzymes involved in the formation of the primary metabolite of MPA, the inactive phenolic glucuronide (MPAG), and the reactive acyl glucuronide (AcMPAG). The first exon of UGT1A8 was first resequenced in the region encoding for the substrate binding domain in 254 Caucasians and 41 African Americans. Eight nonsynonymous changes were observed and led to the following amino acid substitutions: S43L, H53N, S126G, A144V, A173G, A231T, T240A, and C277Y. Thirteen haplotypes were inferred, comprising only two previously described alleles, namely, UGT1A8*2 (A173G) and UGT1A8*3 (C277Y). Upon stable expression in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, the UGT1A8*3 (C277Y), *5 (G173A240), *7 (A231T), *8 (S43L), and *9 (N53G) proteins were associated with the most profound decreases in the formation of MPAG and AcMPAG, indicating that these amino acids are critical for substrate binding and enzyme function. Altogether, the low-activity UGT1A8 enzymes are carried by 2.8 to 4.8% of the population. The variant of the UGT2B7 protein (UGT2B7*2 Y268), the main enzyme involved in the formation of AcMPAG, demonstrated a catalytic efficiency comparable with that of UGT2B7*1 (H268). In conclusion, although the common UGT2B7*2 variant is predicted to have limited impact, several UGT1A8 variants identified may potentially account for the large interindividual variance in MMF pharmacokinetics and deserve further clinical investigations.
    Drug Metabolism and Disposition 10/2006; 34(9):1539-45. DOI:10.1124/dmd.106.010553 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: (R,S)-Oxazepam is a 1,4-benzodiazepine anxiolytic drug that is metabolized primarily by hepatic glucuronidation. In previous studies, S-oxazepam (but not R-oxazepam) was shown to be polymorphically glucuronidated in humans. The aim of the present study was to identify UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) isoforms mediating R- and S-oxazepam glucuronidation in human liver, with the long term objective of elucidating the molecular genetic basis for this drug metabolism polymorphism. All available recombinant UGT isoforms were screened for R- and S-oxazepam glucuronidation activities. Enzyme kinetic parameters were then determined in representative human liver microsomes (HLMs) and in UGTs that showed significant activity. Of 12 different UGTs evaluated, only UGT2B15 showed significant S-oxazepam glucuronidation. Furthermore, the apparent K(m) for UGT2B15 (29-35 microM) was similar to values determined for HLMs (43-60 microM). In contrast, R-oxazepam was glucuronidated by UGT1A9 and UGT2B7. Although apparent K(m) values for HLMs (256-303 microM) were most similar to UGT2B7 (333 microM) rather than UGT1A9 (12 microM), intrinsic clearance values for UGT1A9 were 10 times higher than for UGT2B7. A common genetic variation results in aspartate (UGT2B15*1) or tyrosine (UGT2B15*2) at position 85 of the UGT2B15 protein. Microsomes from human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells overexpressing UGT2B15*1 showed 5 times higher S-oxazepam glucuronidation activity than did UGT2B15*2 microsomes. Similar results were obtained for other substrates, including eugenol, naringenin, 4-methylumbelliferone, and androstane-3alpha-diol. In conclusion, S-oxazepam is stereoselectively glucuronidated by UGT2B15, whereas R-oxazepam is glucuronidated by multiple UGT isoforms. Allelic variation associated with the UGT2B15 gene may explain polymorphic S-oxazepam glucuronidation in humans.
    Drug Metabolism and Disposition 12/2002; 30(11):1257-65. DOI:10.1124/dmd.30.11.1257 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 7-Ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (SN-38) is the pharmacologically active metabolite of irinotecan, in addition to being responsible for severe toxicity. Glucuronidation is the main metabolic pathway of SN-38 and has been shown to protect against irinotecan-induced gastrointestinal toxicity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether common polymorphic UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) affects SN-38 glucuronidation. First, kinetic characterization of SN-38-glucuronide (SN-38-G) formation was assessed for all known human UGT1A and UGT2B overexpressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. To assess the relative activity of UGT isoenzymes for SN-38, rates of formation of SN-38-G were monitored by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis and normalized by level of UGT cellular expression. Determination of intrinsic clearances predicts that hepatic UGT1A1 and UGT1A9 and the extrahepatic UGT1A7 are major components in SN-38-G formation, whereas a minor role is suggested for UGT1A6, UGT1A8, and UGT1A10. In support of the involvement of UGT1A9, a strong coefficient of correlation was observed in the glucuronidation of SN-38 and a substrate, mainly glucuronidate, by UGT1A9 (flavopiridol) by human liver microsomes (coefficient of correlation, 0.905; p = 0.002). In vitro functional experiments revealed a negative impact of the UGT1A1 allelic variants. Residual activities of 49, 7, 8, and 11% were observed for UGT1A1*6 (G(71)R), UGT1A1*27 (P(229)Q), UGT1A1*35 (L(233)R), and UGT1A1*7 (Y(486)D), respectively. Common variants of UGT1A7, UGT1A7*3 (N(129)K;R(131)K;W(208)R), and UGT1A7*4 (W(208)R), displayed residual activities of 41 and 28% compared with the UGT1A7*1 allele. Taken together, these data provide the evidence that molecular determinants of irinotecan response may include the UGT1A polymorphisms studied herein and common genetic variants of the hepatic UGT1A9 isoenzyme yet to be described.
    Molecular Pharmacology 10/2002; 62(3):608-17. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the contribution of drug metabolism to the variability on flavopiridol glucuronidation observed in cancer patients, and to determine the ability of all known human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) isoforms to glucuronidate flavopiridol. Inter-individual variation in flavopiridol glucuronidation was determined by HPLC using hepatic microsomes from 62 normal liver donors. Identification of enzymes capable of glucuronidating flavopiridol was determined by LC/MS using human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells stably expressing all sixteen known human UGTs. The major product of the flavopiridol glucuronidation reaction in human liver microsomes was FLAVO-7-G. High variability (coefficient of variation = 49%) was observed in the glucuronidation of flavopiridol by human liver microsomes. In vitro formation of FLAVO-7-G and FLAVO-5-G was mainly catalyzed by UGT1A9 and UGT1A4, respectively. Similar catalytic efficiencies (Vmax/Km) were observed for human liver microsomes (1.6 microl/min/mg) and UGT1A9 (1.5 microl/min/mg). UGT1A9 is the major UGT involved in the hepatic glucuronidation of flavopiridol in humans. The data suggests that hepatic glucuronidation may be a major determinant of the variable systemic glucuronidation of flavopiridol in cancer patients. The large variability in flavopiridol glucuronidation may be due to differences in liver metabolism among individuals, as a result of genetic differences in UGT1A9.
    Pharmaceutical Research 06/2002; 19(5):588-94. DOI:10.1023/A:1015341726183 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glucuronidation is a major pathway involved in the metabolism of drugs and numerous endogenous compounds, such as bile acids and steroid hormones. The enzymes responsible for this conjugation reaction are UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT). Among the UGT2B subfamily, UGT2B7 , a UGT enzyme present in the liver and several steroid target tissues, is an important member since it conjugates a large variety of compounds including estrogens, androgens, morphine, AZT, and retinoic acid. Although this enzyme is well characterized, the gene encoding the UGT2B7 protein and its promoter region remain unknown. In this article, we report the genomic organization and the promoter region of the human UGT2B7 gene. To isolate this gene, a P-1 artificial chromosome (PAC) library was screened with a full length UGT2B7 probe and a clone of approximately 100 kb in length was isolated. In addition to the UGT2B7 gene, this PAC contains two other UGT2B genes previously characterized, namely UGT2B26P and UGT2B27P. The UGT2B7 gene is composed of six exons spanning approximately 16 kb, with introns ranging from 0.7 to 4.2 kb. The 5′-flanking region of the human UGT2B7 gene contains several potential cis-acting elements such as Oct-1, Pbx-1, and C/EBP. Only one TATA-box at nucleotide −106 was found within the first 500 nucleotides relative to the adenine base of the initiator ATG codon. Characterization of the UGT2B7 gene provides insight into the organization and regulation of this important metabolic gene.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2000; 272(2-272):616-621. DOI:10.1006/bbrc.2000.2795 · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • Kim. Journault
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    ABSTRACT: Thèse (M.Sc.)--Université Laval, 2002. Bibliogr.: f. 85-95.