Cytochrome P450 Transcriptional Regulation by Testis-Specific Y-Encoded-Like Protein: Identification of Novel Upstream Transcription Factors

Suganti Shivaram, Huanyao Gao, Sisi Qin, Duan Liu, Richard M. Weinshilboum, Liewei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) display significant inter-individual variation in expression, much of which remains unexplained by known CYP single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Testis-specific Y-encoded-like proteins (TSPYLs) are transcriptional regulators for several drug-metabolizing CYPs including CYP3A4. However, transcription factors (TFs) that might influence CYP expression through an effect on TSPYL expression are unknown. Therefore, we studied regulators of TSPYL expression in hepatic cell lines and their possible SNP-dependent variation. Specifically, we identified candidate TFs that might influence TSPYL expression using the ENCODE ChIPseq database. Subsequently, the expression of TSPYL1/2/4 as well as that of selected CYP targets for TSPYL regulation were assayed in hepatic cell lines before and after knockdown of TFs that might influence CYP expression through TSPYL-dependent mechanisms. Those results were confirmed by studies of TF binding to TSPYL1/2/4 gene promoter regions. In hepatic cell lines, knockdown of the REST and ZBTB7A TFs resulted in decreased TSPYL1 and TSPYL4 expression and increased CYP3A4 expression, changes reversed by TSPYL1/4 overexpression. Potential binding sites for REST and ZBTB7A on the promoters of TSPYL1 and TSPYL4 were confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Finally, common SNP variants in upstream binding sites on the TSPYL1/4 promoters were identified and luciferase reporter constructs confirmed SNP-dependent modulation of TSPYL1/4 gene transcription. In summary, we identified REST and ZBTB7A as regulators of the expression of TSPYL genes which themselves can contribute to regulation of CYP expression and—potentially—of drug metabolism. SNP-dependent modulation of TSPYL transcription may contribute to individual variation in both CYP expression and—downstream–drug response phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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