Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) Distant from xenobiotic response elements can modulate aryl hydrocarbon receptor function: SNP-dependent CYP1A1 induction

Duan Liu, Sisi Qin, Bamiki Ray, Krishna R Kalari, Liewei M Wang, Richard M Weinshilboum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


CYP1A1 expression can be upregulated by the ligand-activated aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Based on prior observations with estrogen receptors and estrogen response elements, we tested the hypothesis that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mapping hundreds of base pairs (bp) from xenobiotic response elements (XREs) might influence AHR binding and subsequent gene expression. Specifically, we analyzed DNA sequences 5 kb upstream and downstream of the CYP1A1 gene for putative XREs. SNPs located 6500 bp of these putative XREs were studied using a genomic data–rich human lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) model system. CYP1A1 mRNA levels were determined after treatment with varying concentrations of 3-methylcholanthrene (3MC). The rs2470893 (21694G>A) SNP, located 196 bp from an XRE in the CYP1A1 promoter, was associated with 2-fold variation in AHR-XRE binding in a SNP-dependent fashion. LCLs with the AA genotype displayed significantly higher AHR-XRE binding and CYP1A1 mRNA expression after 3MC treatment than did those with the GG genotype. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) showed that oligonucleotides with the AA genotype displayed higher LCL nuclear extract binding after 3MC treatment than did those with the GG genotype, and mass spectrometric analysis of EMSA protein-DNA complex bands identified three candidate proteins, two of which were co-immunoprecipitated with AHR. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the rs2470893 SNP, which maps 196 bp from a CYP1A1 promoter XRE, is associated with variations in 3MC-dependent AHR binding and CYP1A1 expression. Similar “distant SNP effects” on AHR binding to an XRE motif and subsequent gene expression might occur for additional AHR-regulated genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1372-1381
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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