Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.525, No.2, 348-353, 2020
Hetero-oligomer formation of mouse UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2b1 and 1a1 results in the gain of glucuronidation activity towards morphine, an activity which is absent in homo-oligomers of either UGT
UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase (UGT, Ugt) is a major drug metabolizing enzyme family involved in the glucuronidation and subsequent elimination of drugs and small lipophilic molecules. UGT forms homo- and hetero-oligomers that enhance or suppress UGT activity. In our previous study, we characterized mouse Ugt1a1 and all the Ugt isoform belonging to the Ugt2b subfamily and revealed that mouse Ugt2b1 and Ugt1a1 cannot metabolize morphine. Mouse Ugt2b1 had been believed to function similarly to rat UGT2B1, which plays a major role in morphine glucuronidation in rat liver. Thus, in this study, we hypothesized that hetero-oligomerization with another Ugt isoform may affect Ugt2b1 catalytic ability. We co-expressed Ugt1a1 and Ugt2b1 in a baculovirus-insect cell system, and confirmed hetero-oligomer formation by co-immunoprecipitation. As reported previously, microsomes singly expressing Ugt1a1 or Ugt2b1 were inactive towards the glucuronidation of morphine. Interestingly, in contrast, morphine-3-glucuronide, a major metabolite of morphine was formed, when Ugt2b1 and Ugt1a1 were co-expressed. This effect of hetero-oligomerization of Ugt1a1 and Ugt2b1 was also observed for 17 beta-estradiol glucuronidation. This is the first report demonstrating that UGT acquires a novel catalytic ability by forming oligomers. Protein-protein interaction of Ugts may contribute to robust detoxification of xenobiotics by altering the substrate diversity of the enzymes. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.