Regulation of UGT2B Expression and Activity by miR-216b-5p in Liver Cancer Cell Lines

Douglas F. Dluzen, Aimee K. Sutliff, Gang Chen, Christy J.W. Watson, Faoud T. Ishmael, Philip Lazarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B enzymes are important in the detoxification of a variety of endogenous and exogenous compounds, including many hormones, drugs, and carcinogens. Identifying novel mechanisms governing their expression is important in understanding patient-specific response to drugs and cancer risk factors. In silico prediction algorithm programs were used to screen for microRNAs (miRNAs) as potential regulators of UGT2B enzymes, with miR-216b-5p identified as a potential candidate. Luciferase data suggested the presence of a functional miR-216b-5p binding motif within the 39 untranslated regions of UGTs 2B7, 2B4, and 2B10. Overexpression of miR-216b-5p mimics significantly repressed UGT2B7 (P , 0.001) and UGT2B10 (P 5 0.0018) mRNA levels in HuH-7 cells and UGT2B4 (P , 0.001) and UGT2B10 (P 5 0.018) mRNA in Hep3B cells. UGT2B7 protein levels were repressed in both HuH-7 and Hep3B cells in the presence ofincreasing miR-216b-5p concentrations, corresponding with significant (P , 0.001 and P 5 0.011, respectively) decreases in glucuronidation activity against the UGT2B7-specific substrate epirubicin. Inhibition of endogenous miR-216b-5p levels significantly increased UGT2B7 mRNA levels in HuH-7 (P 5 0.021) and Hep3B (P 5 0.0068) cells, and increased epirubicin glucuronidation by 85% (P 5 0.057) and 50% (P 5 0.012) for HuH-7 and Hep3B cells, respectively. UGT2B4 activity against codeine and UGT2B10 activity against nicotine were significantly decreased in both HuH-7 and Hep3B cells (P , 0.001 and P 5 0.0048, and P 5 0.017 and P 5 0.043, respectively) after overexpression of miR-216b-5p mimic. This is the first evidence that miRNAs regulate UGT 2B7, 2B4, and 2B10 expression, and that miR-216b-5p regulation of UGT2B proteins may be important in regulating the metabolism of UGT2B substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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