UDP‐Glucuronosyltransferase 1A6: Structural, Functional, and Regulatory Aspects
Glucuronidation, catalyzed by two families of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs), represents a major phase II reaction of endo- and xenobiotic biotransformation. UGT1A6 is the founding member of the rat and human UGT1 family. It is expressed in liver and extrahepatic tissues, such as intestine, kidney, testis, and brain, and conjugates planar phenols and arylamines. Serotonin has been identified as a selective endogenous substrate of the human enzyme. UGT1A6 is also involved in conjugation of the drug paracetamol (acetaminophen) and of phenolic metabolites of benzo[a]pyrene (together with rat UGT1A7 and human UGT1A9). High interindividual variability of human liver protein levels is due to a number of influences, including genetic, tissue-specific, and environmental factors. Evidence shows that homo- and heterozygotic expression of UGT1A6 alleles markedly affects enzyme activity. HNF1 may be responsible for tissue-specific UGT1A6 expression. Multiple environmental factors controlling UGT1A6 expression have been identified, including the pregnane X receptor, the constitutive androstane receptor, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and Nrf2, a bZIP transcription factor mediating stress responses. However, marked differences have been noted in the expression of rat and human UGT1A6. Regulatory factors have been studied in detail in the human Caco-2 colon adenocarcinoma cell model.