Gene Summary

Gene:UGT2B15; UDP glucuronosyltransferase family 2 member B15
Summary:This gene encodes a glycosyltransferase that is invovled in the metabolism and elimination of toxic compounts, both endogenous and of xenobiotic origin. This gene plays a role in the regulation of estrogens and androgens. This locus is present in a cluster of similar genes and pseudogenes on chromosome 4. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Prevalence
  • Steroids
  • Transcription Factors
  • Postmenopause
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Hormone-Dependent Cancers
  • Tamoxifen
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Alleles
  • Transfection
  • Polymorphism
  • Genetic Variation
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Up-Regulation
  • Chromosome 4
  • Young Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Androgens
  • Breast Cancer
  • Homozygote
  • Messenger RNA
  • Base Sequence
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Haplotypes
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • MicroRNAs
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • CYP17
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: UGT2B15 (cancer-related)

Zhang A, Zhang J, Plymate S, Mostaghel EA
Classical and Non-Classical Roles for Pre-Receptor Control of DHT Metabolism in Prostate Cancer Progression.
Horm Cancer. 2016; 7(2):104-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Androgens play an important role in prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. Accordingly, androgen deprivation therapy remains the front-line treatment for locally recurrent or advanced PCa, but patients eventually relapse with the lethal form of the disease termed castration resistant PCa (CRPC). Importantly, castration does not eliminate androgens from the prostate tumor microenvironment which is characterized by elevated tissue androgens that are well within the range capable of activating the androgen receptor (AR). In this mini-review, we discuss emerging data that suggest a role for the enzymes mediating pre-receptor control of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) metabolism, including AKR1C2, HSD17B6, HSD17B10, and the UGT family members UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, in controlling intratumoral androgen levels, and thereby influencing PCa progression. We review the expression of steroidogenic enzymes involved in this pathway in primary PCa and CRPC, the activity and regulation of these enzymes in PCa experimental models, and the impact of genetic variation in genes mediating pre-receptor DHT metabolism on PCa risk. Finally, we discuss recent data that suggests several of these enzymes may also play an unrecognized role in CRPC progression separate from their role in androgen inactivation.

Hagberg Thulin M, Nilsson ME, Thulin P, et al.
Osteoblasts promote castration-resistant prostate cancer by altering intratumoral steroidogenesis.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2016; 422:182-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
The skeleton is the preferred site for prostate cancer (PC) metastasis leading to incurable castration-resistant disease. The increased expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes found in bone metastatic tissue from patients suggests that up-regulated steroidogenesis might contribute to tumor growth at the metastatic site. Because of the overall sclerotic phenotype, we hypothesize that osteoblasts regulate the intratumoral steroidogenesis of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in bone. We here show that osteoblasts alter the steroidogenic transcription program in CRPC cells, closely mimicking the gene expression pattern described in CRPC. Osteoblast-stimulated LNCaP-19 cells displayed an increased expression of genes encoding for steroidogenic enzymes (CYP11A1, HSD3B1, and AKR1C3), estrogen signaling-related genes (CYP19A1, and ESR2), and genes for DHT-inactivating enzymes (UGT2B7, UGT2B15, and UGT2B17). The observed osteoblast-induced effect was exclusive to osteogenic CRPC cells (LNCaP-19) in contrast to osteolytic PC-3 and androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. The altered steroid enzymatic pattern was specific for the intratibial tumors and verified by immunohistochemistry in tissue specimens from LNCaP-19 xenograft tumors. Additionally, the overall steroidogenic effect was reflected by corresponding levels of progesterone and testosterone in serum from castrated mice with intratibial xenografts. A bi-directional interplay was demonstrated since both proliferation and Esr2 expression of osteoblasts were induced by CRPC cells in steroid-depleted conditions. Together, our results demonstrate that osteoblasts are important mediators of the intratumoral steroidogenesis of CRPC and for castration-resistant growth in bone. Targeting osteoblasts may therefore be important in the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Agarwal G, Tulsyan S, Lal P, Mittal B
Generalized Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (GMDR) Analysis of Drug-Metabolizing Enzyme-Encoding Gene Polymorphisms may Predict Treatment Outcomes in Indian Breast Cancer Patients.
World J Surg. 2016; 40(7):1600-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prediction of response and toxicity of chemotherapy can help personalize the treatment and choose effective yet non-toxic treatment regimen for a breast cancer patient. Interplay of variations in various drug-metabolizing enzyme (DME)-encoding genes results in variable response and toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs. Generalized multi-analytical (GMDR) approach was used to determine the influence of the combination of variants of genes encoding phase 0 (SLC22A16); phase I (CYP450, NQO1); phase II (GSTs, MTHFR, UGT2B15); and phase III (ABCB1) DMEs along with confounding factors on the response and toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs in breast cancer patients.
METHODS: In an Indian breast cancer patient cohort (n = 234), response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (n = 111) and grade 2-4 toxicity to chemotherapy were recorded. Patients were genotyped for 19 polymorphisms selected in four phases of DMEs by PCR or PCR-RFLP or Taqman allelic discrimination assay. Binary logistic regression and GMDR analysis was performed. Bonferroni test for multiple comparisons was applied, and p value was considered to be significant at <0.025.
RESULTS: For ABCB1 1236C>T polymorphism, CT genotype was found to be significantly associated with response to NACT in uni-variate and multi-variate analysis (p = 0.018; p = 0.013). The TT genotype of NQO1 609C>T had a significant association with (absence of) grade 2-4 toxicity in uni-variate analysis (p = 0.021), but a non-significant correlation in multi-variate analysis. In GMDR analysis, interaction of CYP3A5*3, NQO1 609C>T, and ABCB1 1236C>T polymorphisms yielded the highest testing accuracy for response to NACT (CVT = 0.62). However, for grade 2-4 toxicity, CYP2C19*2 and ABCB1 3435C>T polymorphisms yielded the best interaction model (CVT = 0.57).
CONCLUSION: This pharmacogenetic study suggests a role of higher order gene-gene interaction of DME-encoding genes, along with confounding factors, in determination of treatment outcomes and toxicity in breast cancer patients. This can be used as a potential objective tool for individualizing breast cancer chemotherapy with high efficacy and low toxicity.

Margaillan G, Lévesque É, Guillemette C
Epigenetic regulation of steroid inactivating UDP-glucuronosyltransferases by microRNAs in prostate cancer.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016; 155(Pt A):85-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgens play a central role in prostate cancer progression. Systemic and local androgen bioavailability is controlled by UDP-glucuronosyltransferases conjugating enzymes (UGT), namely UGT2B15, UGT2B17 and UGT2B28. Reporter vector assays in HEK293 cells initially validated in silico-predicted regulatory potential of candidate miRNAs to target UGT transcripts, including miR-376c, miR-409 and miR-494 for UGT2B17, miR-331-5p and miR-376c for UGT2B15 while none were efficient for UGT2B28. miR-376c was shown as the most effective to downregulate UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 through interactions with a site conserved in both UGTs. Ectopic miR-376c expression in prostate cancer cells significantly reduced UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression (>32%; P<0.005) with a consequent decrease in dihydrotestosterone glucuronidation (-37%; P<0.001). Consistent with reduced androgen inactivation, ectopic expression of miR-376c changed expression of androgen responsive genes and enhanced cell proliferation with no effect on androgen receptor levels. Sustaining a role of miR-376c in the regulation of androgen-inactivating UGTs, its expression was significantly downregulated in prostatic tumors and further reduced in metastases (P<0.0001), whereas the opposite was observed for UGT2B15/17 (P=0.031). In high-grade tumors (Gleason ≥8), UGT2B15/17 and miR-376c were inversely correlated (r=-0.557; P=0.048) with also a significant relationship in metastases (r=-0.747; P=0.003). In line with a modification in androgen bioavailability, PSA mRNA levels were also negatively correlated to those of UGT2B15/17 (r=-0.573; P=0.01) but positively linked to levels of miR-376c (r=0.577; P=0.039). This study reveals that the androgen-inactivating UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 genes are direct targets of miR-376c and thus may influence steroid metabolism during prostate cancer progression.

Romero-Lorca A, Novillo A, Gaibar M, et al.
Impacts of the Glucuronidase Genotypes UGT1A4, UGT2B7, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 on Tamoxifen Metabolism in Breast Cancer Patients.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132269 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Tamoxifen is used to prevent and treat estrogen-dependent breast cancer. It is described as a prodrug since most of its antiestrogen effects are exerted through its hydroxylated metabolites 4-OH-tamoxifen and endoxifen. In prior work, we correlated optimal plasma levels of these metabolites with certain genotypes of CYP2D6 and SULT1A2. This descriptive study examines correlations between concentrations of tamoxifen's glucuronide metabolites and genotypes UGT1A4 Pro24Thr, UGT1A4 Leu48Val, UGT2B7 His268Tyr, UGT2B15 Asp85YTyr UGT2B15 Lys523Thr and UGT2B17del in 132 patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer under treatment with tamoxifen. Patients were genotyped by real-time and conventional PCR-RFLP. The glucuronides 4-OH-tamoxifen-N-glucuronide, 4-OH-tamoxifen-O-glucuronide and endoxifen-O-glucuronide were isolated from blood plasma and quantified using a high-pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry system. Individuals who were homozygous for UGT1A448VAL showed significantly lower mean concentrations of both glucuronide metabolites compared to subjects genotyped as wt/wt plus wt/48Val (p=0.037 and p=0.031, respectively). Women homozygous for UGT2B7268Tyr also showed mean substrate/product ratios of 4-OH-tamoxifen/4-OH-tamoxifen-O-glucuronide and 4-OH-tamoxifen/4-OH-tamoxifen-N-glucuronide indicative of reduced glucuronidase activity compared to wt homozygotes or to heterozygotes for the polymorphism (p=0.005 and p=0.003, respectively). In contrast, UGT2B15 Lys523Thr and UGT2B17del were associated with possibly increased enzyme activity. Patients with at least one variant allele UGT2B15523Thr showed significantly higher 4-OH-tamoxifen-O-glucuronide and endoxifen-glucuronide levels (p=0.023 and p=0.025, respectively) indicating a variant gene-dose effect. Higher 4-OH-tamoxifen-N-glucuronide levels observed in UGT2B17del genotypes (p=0.042) could be attributed to a mechanism that compensates for the greater expression of other genes in UGT2B17 del/del individuals. Our observations suggest that patients carrying mutations UGT1A448Val, UGT2B7268Tyr or with wt genotypes for UGT2B17nodel and UGT2B15523Lys could be the best candidates for a good response to tamoxifen therapy in terms of eliciting effective plasma active tamoxifen metabolite levels. However, additional studies examining the effects of UGT genotype on overall patient response to TAM are needed to further examine the role of UGT polymorphisms in the therapeutic efficacy of TAM.

Wijayakumara DD, Hu DG, Meech R, et al.
Regulation of Human UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by miR-376c in Prostate Cancer Cell Lines.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015; 354(3):417-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Given the prime importance of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B15 and UGT2B17 in inactivating testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, control of their expression and activity in the prostate is essential for androgen signaling homeostasis in this organ. Although several studies provide evidence of transcriptional control of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by various endogenous and exogenous compounds, potential post-transcriptional regulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by microRNAs (miRs) in prostate cancer cells has not been examined. The present study identified a putative miR-376c target site in the 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of both UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNAs. In accordance with the possibility that this miRNA negatively regulates UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression, there is an inverse correlation in the levels of miR-376c and UGT2B15/UGT2B17 mRNAs in prostate cancer cell lines versus normal prostate tissue. In LNCaP cells, transfection of miR-376c mimics inhibited the glucuronidations of testosterone, 4-methylumbelliferone (a substrate of UGT2B15), and androsterone (a substrate of UGT2B17). miR-376c reduced both UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein levels and the activity of luciferase reporters containing UGT2B15 or UGT2B17 3'-UTRs. This microRNA-mediated repression was significantly abrogated by mutating the miR-376c binding site in the 3'-UTRs of both UGTs. Collectively, these data indicate that the expression of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 is negatively regulated by the binding of miR-376c to the 3'-UTRs of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 in prostate cancer cells. This represents the first evidence for post-transcriptional regulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by miRNAs in prostate cancer cells and may have importance in regulating androgen receptor signaling.

Chanawong A, Hu DG, Meech R, et al.
Induction of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 gene expression by the major active metabolites of tamoxifen, 4-hydroxytamoxifen and endoxifen, in breast cancer cells.
Drug Metab Dispos. 2015; 43(6):889-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported upregulation of UGT2B15 by 17β-estradiol in breast cancer MCF7 cells via binding of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) to an estrogen response unit (ERU) in the proximal UGT2B15 promoter. In the present study, we show that this ERα-mediated upregulation was significantly reduced by two ER antagonists (fulvestrant and raloxifene) but was not affected by a third ER antagonist, 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHTAM), a major active tamoxifen (TAM) metabolite. Furthermore, we found that, similar to 17β-estradiol, 4-OHTAM and endoxifen (another major active TAM metabolite) elevated UGT2B15 mRNA levels, and that this stimulation was significantly abrogated by fulvestrant. Further experiments using 4-OHTAM revealed a critical role for ERα in this regulation. Specifically; knockdown of ERα expression by anti-ERα small interfering RNA reduced the 4-OHTAM-mediated induction of UGT2B15 expression; 4-OHTAM activated the wild-type but not the ERU-mutated UGT2B15 promoter; and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed increased ERα occupancy at the UGT2B15 ERU in MCF7 cells upon exposure to 4-OHTAM. Together, these data indicate that both 17β-estradiol and the antiestrogen 4-OHTAM upregulate UGT2B15 in MCF7 cells via the same ERα-signaling pathway. This is consistent with previous observations that both 17β-estradiol and TAM upregulate a common set of genes in MCF7 cells via the ER-signaling pathway. As 4-OHTAM is a UGT2B15 substrate, the upregulation of UGT2B15 by 4-OHTAM in target breast cancer cells is likely to enhance local metabolism and inactivation of 4-OHTAM within the tumor. This represents a potential mechanism that may reduce TAM therapeutic efficacy or even contribute to the development of acquired TAM resistance.

Mostaghel EA, Morgan A, Zhang X, et al.
Prostate cancer characteristics associated with response to pre-receptor targeting of the androgen axis.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e111545 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Factors influencing differential responses of prostate tumors to androgen receptor (AR) axis-directed therapeutics are poorly understood, and predictors of treatment efficacy are needed. We hypothesized that the efficacy of inhibiting DHT ligand synthesis would associate with intra-tumoral androgen ratios indicative of relative dependence on DHT-mediated growth.
METHODS: We characterized two androgen-sensitive prostate cancer xenograft models after androgen suppression by castration in combination with the SRD5A inhibitor, dutasteride, as well as a panel of castration resistant metastases obtained via rapid autopsy.
RESULTS: In LuCaP35 tumors (intra-tumoral T:DHT ratio 2:1) dutasteride suppressed DHT to 0.02 ng/gm and prolonged survival vs. castration alone (337 vs.152 days, HR 2.8, p = 0.0015). In LuCaP96 tumors (T:DHT 10:1), survival was not improved despite similar DHT reduction (0.02 ng/gm). LuCaP35 demonstrated higher expression of steroid biosynthetic enzymes maintaining DHT levels (5-fold higher SRD5A1, 41 fold higher, 99-fold higher RL-HSD, p<0.0001 for both), reconstitution of intra-tumoral DHT (to ∼30% of untreated tumors), and ∼2 fold increased expression of full length AR. In contrast, LuCaP96 demonstrated higher levels of steroid catabolizing enzymes (6.9-fold higher AKR1C2, 3000-fold higher UGT2B15, p = 0.002 and p<0.0001 respectively), persistent suppression of intra-tumoral DHT, and 6-8 fold induction of full length AR and the ligand independent V7 AR splice variant. Human metastases demonstrated bio-active androgen levels and AR full length and AR splice-variant expression consistent with the range observed in xenografts.
CONCLUSIONS: Intrinsic differences in basal steroidogenesis, as well as variable expression of full length and splice-variant AR, associate with response and resistance to pre-receptor AR ligand suppression. Expression of steroidogenic enzymes and AR isoforms may serve as potential biomarkers of sensitivity to potent AR-axis inhibition and should be validated in additional models.

Gauthier-Landry L, Bélanger A, Barbier O
Multiple roles for UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes in androgen metabolism and prostate cancer evolution.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015; 145:187-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the prostate, approximately 50% of androgens are from adrenal steroids, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), its sulfate and androstenedione. These compounds are converted first into testosterone, and then into the active hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). After having activated the androgen receptor (AR), DHT is reduced into androstane-3α-DIOL (3α-DIOL) and androsterone (ADT), which are subsequently converted into 2 inactive and easily excretable metabolites: 3α-DIOL-17glucuronide (3α-DIOL-17G) and ADT-3glucuronide (ADT-3G). The formation of these last derivatives through the glucuronidation reaction involves 2 UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes, namely UGT2B15 and UGT2B17. The present review article aims at providing a comprehensive view of the physiological and pharmacological importance of these 2 enzymes for the control of androgen homeostasis. We will resume: (i) how UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 contribute to androgen elimination; (ii) how their glucuronidation capacity influences the androgen signaling pathway in prostate cells; (iii) how they contribute to the anti-proliferative properties of AR antagonists in prostate cancer cells; and (iv) how AR and its spliced variants regulate the UGT2B15 and/or UGT2B17 genes expression. Finally, whether the unexploited AR-UGT axis could serve as a prognostic maker or a pharmacological target for novel therapeutics in the treatment of prostate cancer is also discussed. This article is part of a special issue entitled 'Essential role of DHEA'.

Angstadt AY, Hartman TJ, Lesko SM, et al.
The effect of UGT1A and UGT2B polymorphisms on colorectal cancer risk: haplotype associations and gene–environment interactions.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(6):454-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) play an important role in the phase II metabolism of exogenous and endogenous compounds. As colorectal cancer (CRC) etiology is thought to involve the biotransformation of dietary factors, UGT polymorphisms may affect CRC risk by altering levels of exposure. Genotyping of over 1800 Caucasian subjects was completed to identify the role of genetic variation in nine UGT1A and five UGT2B genes on CRC risk. Unconditional logistic regression and haplotype analyses were conducted to identify associations with CRC risk and potential gene-environment interactions. UGT1A haplotype analysis found that the T-G haplotype in UGT1A10 exon 1 (block 2: rs17864678, rs10929251) decreased cancer risk for the colon [proximal (OR = 0.28, 95% CI = 0.11–0.69) and for the distal colon (OR = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.12–0.91)], and that the C-T-G haplotype in the 3′ region flanking the UGT1A shared exons (block 11: rs7578153, rs10203853, rs6728940) increased CRC risk in males (OR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.10–5.95). A haplotype in UGT2B15 containing a functional variant (rs4148269, K523T) and an intronic SNP (rs6837575) was found to affect rectal cancer risk overall (OR = 2.57, 95% CI = 1.21–5.04) and in females (OR = 3.08, 95% CI = 1.08–8.74). An interaction was found between high NSAID use and the A-G-T haplotype (block 10: rs6717546, rs1500482, rs7586006) in the UGT1A shared exons that decreased CRC risk. This suggests that UGT genetic variation alters CRC risk differently by anatomical sub-site and gender and that polymorphisms in the UGT1A shared exons may have a regulatory effect on gene expression that allows for the protective effect of NSAIDs on CRC risk.

Scherer D, Koepl LM, Poole EM, et al.
Genetic variation in UGT genes modify the associations of NSAIDs with risk of colorectal cancer: colon cancer family registry.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(7):568-78 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with reduced risk of colorectal neoplasia. Previous studies have reported that polymorphisms in NSAID-metabolizing enzymes central to NSAID metabolism including UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) and cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C9 may modify this protective effect. We investigated whether 35 functionally relevant polymorphisms within CYP2C9 and UGT genes were associated with colorectal cancer risk or modified the protective effect of NSAIDs on colorectal cancer susceptibility, using 1,584 colorectal cancer cases and 2,516 unaffected sibling controls from the Colon Cancer Family Registry. A three-SNP genotype in UGT1A6 (G-A-A; Ala7-Thr181-Arg184) and the Asp85 variant in UGT2B15 increased the risk of colorectal cancer (OR 3.87; 95% CI 1.04-14.45 and OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.10-1.63, respectively). We observed interactions between UGT1A3 Thr78Thr (A>G) and NSAID use (P-interaction = 0.02), a three-SNP genotype within UGT2B4 and ibuprofen use (P-interaction = 0.0018), as well as UGT2B15 Tyr85Asp (T>G) and aspirin use (P-interaction = 0.01). The interaction with the UGT2B4 and the UGT2B15 polymorphisms were noteworthy at the 25% FDR level. This study highlights the need for further pharmacogenetic studies to identify individuals who might benefit from NSAID use as part of developing effective strategies for prevention of colorectal neoplasia. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Vidal AC, Tucker C, Schildkraut JM, et al.
Novel associations of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B gene variants with prostate cancer risk in a multiethnic study.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:556 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that a functional polymorphism of the UGT2B15 gene (rs1902023) was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer (PC). Novel functional polymorphisms of the UGT2B17 and UGT2B15 genes have been recently characterized by in vitro assays but have not been evaluated in epidemiologic studies.
METHODS: Fifteen functional SNPs of the UGT2B17 and UGT2B15 genes, including cis-acting UGT2B gene SNPs, were genotyped in African American and Caucasian men (233 PC cases and 342 controls). Regression models were used to analyze the association between SNPs and PC risk.
RESULTS: After adjusting for race, age and BMI, we found that six UGT2B15 SNPs (rs4148269, rs3100, rs9994887, rs13112099, rs7686914 and rs7696472) were associated with an increased risk of PC in log-additive models (p < 0.05). A SNP cis-acting on UGT2B17 and UGT2B15 expression (rs17147338) was also associated with increased risk of prostate cancer (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.00-2.70); while a stronger association among men with high Gleason sum was observed for SNPs rs4148269 and rs3100.
CONCLUSIONS: Although small sample size limits inference, we report novel associations between UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 variants and PC risk. These associations with PC risk in men with high Gleason sum, more frequently found in African American men, support the relevance of genetic differences in the androgen metabolism pathway, which could explain, in part, the high incidence of PC among African American men. Larger studies are required.

Doherty D, Dvorkin SA, Rodriguez EP, Thompson PD
Vitamin D receptor agonist EB1089 is a potent regulator of prostatic "intracrine" metabolism.
Prostate. 2014; 74(3):273-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A contributing factor to the emergence of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is the ability of the tumor to circumvent low circulating levels of testosterone during androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), through the production of "intracrine" tumoral androgens from precursors including cholesterol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). As these processes promote AR signaling and prostate cancer progression their modulation is required for disease prevention and treatment.
METHODS: We evaluated the involvement of the vitamin D receptor ligand EB1089 in the regulation of genes with a role in androgen metabolism using the androgen dependent cell lines LNCaP and LAPC-4. EB1089 regulation of androgen metabolism was assessed using QRT-PCR, luciferase promoter assays, western blotting, enzyme activity assays, and LC-MS analyses.
RESULTS: EB1089 induced significant expression of genes involved in androgen metabolism in prostate cancer cells. Real-Time PCR analysis revealed that VDR mediated significant regulation of CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A43, AKR1C1-3, UGT2B15/17, and HSD17B2. Data revealed potent regulation of CYP3A4 at the level of mRNA, protein expression and enzymatic activity, with VDR identified as the predominant regulator. Inhibition of CYP3A activity using the specific inhibitor ritonavir resulted in alleviation of the anti-proliferative response of VDR ligands in prostate cancer cells. Mass spectrometry revealed that overexpression of CYP3A protein in prostate cancer cells resulted in a significant increase in the oxidative inactivation of testosterone and DHEA to their 6-β-hydroxy-testosterone and 16-α-hydroxy-DHEA metabolites, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight a potential application of VDR-based therapies for the reduction of growth-promoting androgens within the tumor micro-environment.

Grosse L, Pâquet S, Caron P, et al.
Androgen glucuronidation: an unexpected target for androgen deprivation therapy, with prognosis and diagnostic implications.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(23):6963-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADTh) remains a mainstay of prostate cancer treatment, but its efficacy is bypassed by mechanisms that are not fully understood. In human prostate cancer cells, androgen glucuronidation, catalyzed by the two UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, is the major androgen inactivation pathway. In this study, we investigated the effect of ADTh on androgen glucuronidation to evaluate its potential clinical utility for prostate cancer prognosis or therapy. UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression was evaluated in prostate cancer specimens from untreated or treated patients and in cell models of prostate cancer exposed to clinically relevant antiandrogens. UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 protein levels in prostate were increased after 5 months of ADTh when compared with specimens from untreated patients. UGT2B15 expression remained elevated for up to 12 months, but UGT2B17 returned to initial levels as soon as after 6 months. Several androgen receptor (AR) antagonists tested caused a dose- and time-dependent stimulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression and androgen glucuronidation in prostate cancer cell lines. The role of AR in these regulatory events was confirmed using AR-deficient LNCaP cells, in which UGT2B attenuation reduced the antiproliferative effects of AR pharmacologic antagonists. Through this combination of clinical and functional investigations, our work revealed that ADTh stimulates a local androgen metabolism in prostate cells, establishing a foundation to evaluate the potential of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 as drug targets and/or molecular markers for ADTh responsiveness and maintenance in prostate cancer.

Markiewicz A, Wełnicka-Jaśkiewicz M, Skokowski J, et al.
Prognostic significance of ESR1 amplification and ESR1 PvuII, CYP2C19*2, UGT2B15*2 polymorphisms in breast cancer patients.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e72219 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Amplification of the ESR1 gene, coding for estrogen receptor alpha, was shown to predict responsiveness to tamoxifen, however its prognostic impact in breast cancer patients has not been thoroughly investigated. Other factors that could contribute to responsiveness to tamoxifen treatment are polymorphisms in ESR1 gene and genes involved in tamoxifen metabolism. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic role of ESR1 gene dosage in a consecutive group of breast cancer patients and to correlate this feature with clinico-pathological factors. Additionally, ESR1 PvuII, CYP2C19*2 and UGT2B15*2 polymorphisms were analyzed in the tamoxifen-treated subgroup of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Primary tumor samples from 281 stage I-III consecutive breast cancer patients were analyzed for ESR1 gene dosage using real-time PCR with locked nucleic acids hydrolysis probes. In the tamoxifen-treated subgroup of patients, ESR1 PvuII, CYP2C19*2 and UGT2B15*2 polymorphism in leukocytes genomic DNA were analyzed. Results were correlated with clinico-pathological factors and with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: ESR1 amplification (with a cut-off level of 2.0) was found in 12% of the entire group of breast cancer patients, and in 18% of the ER-negative subgroup. This feature was associated with decreased DFS both in the entire group (P=0.007) and in the ER-negative subgroup (P=0.03), but not in the tamoxifen-treated patients. Patients with ESR1 PvuII wt/wt genotype and at least one UGT2B15 wt allele had a worse DFS (P=0.03) and showed a trend towards decreased Os (P=0.08) in comparison to patients with ESR1 PvuII wt/vt or vt/vt genotype and UGT2B15 *2/*2 genotype.
CONCLUSIONS: ESR1 amplification can occur in ER-negative tumors and may carry poor prognosis. In the tamoxifen-treated subgroup, poor prognosis was related to the combined presence of ESR1 PvuII wt/wt and UGT2B15wt/wt or wt/*2 genotype.

Dezentjé VO, van Schaik RH, Vletter-Bogaartz JM, et al.
CYP2D6 genotype in relation to tamoxifen efficacy in a Dutch cohort of the tamoxifen exemestane adjuvant multinational (TEAM) trial.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 140(2):363-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical importance of CYP2D6 genotype as predictor of tamoxifen efficacy is still unclear. Recent genotyping studies on CYP2D6 using DNA derived from tumor blocks have been criticized because loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in tumors may lead to false genotype assignment. Postmenopausal early breast cancer patients who were randomized to receive tamoxifen, followed by exemestane in a large randomized controlled trial were genotyped for five CYP2D6 alleles. CYP2D6 genotypes and phenotypes were related to disease-free survival during tamoxifen use (DFS-t) in 731 patients. By analyzing microsatellites flanking the CYP2D6 gene, patients whose genotyping results were potentially affected by LOH were excluded. In addition, exploratory analyses on 24 genetic variants of other metabolic enzymes and the estrogen receptor were performed. For the CYP2D6 analysis, only 2.3 % of the samples were excluded, because influence of LOH could not be ruled out. No association was found between the CYP2D6 genotype or predicted phenotype and DFS-t (poor vs. extensive metabolizers: unadjusted hazard ratio 1.33, 95 % CI 0.52-3.43; P = 0.55). DFS-t was associated with UGT2B15*2 (Vt/Vt + Wt/Vt vs. Wt/Wt: adjusted hazard ratio 0.47, 95 % CI 0.25-0.89; P = 0.019) and the estrogen receptor-1 polymorphism ESR1 PvuII (gene-dose effect: adjusted hazard ratio 1.63, 95 % CI 1.04-2.54; P = 0.033). In postmenopausal early breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen followed by exemestane neither CYP2D6 genotype nor phenotype did affect DFS-t. This is in accordance with two recent studies in the BIG1-98 and ATAC trials. Our study is the first CYP2D6 association study using DNA from paraffin-embedded tumor tissue in which potentially false interpretation of genotyping results because of LOH was excluded. Polymorphisms in the estrogen receptor-1 and UGT2B15 may be associated with tamoxifen efficacy, but these findings need replication.

Dellinger RW, Matundan HH, Ahmed AS, et al.
Anti-cancer drugs elicit re-expression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in melanoma cells.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(10):e47696 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) family of enzymes plays a vital role in the detoxification of carcinogens as well as clearance of anti-cancer drugs. In humans, 19 UGT family members have been identified and are expressed in a tissue specific manner throughout the body. However, the UGTs have not been previously characterized in melanocytes or melanoma. In the present study, UGT2B7, UGT2B10, and UGT2B15 were identified as being normally expressed in human melanocytes. The same three UGT family members were also expressed in the primary melanoma cell line WM115. No UGT expression was detected in another primary melanoma cell line, WM3211, or in any metastatic melanoma cell line examined. These results suggest that UGT expression is lost during melanoma progression. Treatment of WM3211 or metastatic melanoma cell lines with anti-cancer agents (including vemurafenib) induced expression of UGT2B7, UGT2B10 and UGT2B15 demonstrating that melanoma cells retain the ability to re-express these same three UGTs. The corresponding increase in glucuronidation activity in melanoma cells following anti-cancer treatment was also observed. Furthermore, knockdown of UGT2B7 in WM115 cells sensitized these cells to treatment by adriamycin and epirubicin indicating that UGT2B7 is involved in resistance to these drugs. However, knockdown of UGT2B7 had no effect on temozolomide toxicity. Taken together, these results clearly demonstrate a role for UGTs in melanoma etiology. Since the UGTs are drug metabolism enzymes, we propose that re-expression of the UGTs constitutes a previously unsuspected mechanism for intratumoral drug resistance in melanoma.

Grant DJ, Hoyo C, Oliver SD, et al.
Association of uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2B gene variants with serum glucuronide levels and prostate cancer risk.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2013; 17(1):3-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
AIMS: Uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2B (UGT2B) enzymes conjugate testosterone metabolites to enable their excretion in humans. The functional significance of the UGT2B genetic variants has never been described in humans. We evaluated UGT2B variants in relation to plasma androstane-3α,17β-diol-glucuronide (AAG) levels and the prostate cancer risk.
RESULTS: AAG levels were measured in sera from 150 controls and compared to the polymorphisms of UGT2B17, UGT2B15, and UGT2B7. Genomic DNA from controls (301) and cases (148) was genotyped for the polymorphisms, and odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression analyses. Having two copies of UGT2B17 was associated with higher AAG levels in controls among Whites (p=0.02), but not Blacks (p=0.82). Logistic regression models adjusting for age and race revealed that homozygosity for the G allele of the UGT2B15(D85Y) polymorphism was directly associated with the prostate cancer risk (OR=2.70, 95% CI=1.28, 5.55).
CONCLUSIONS: While the small sample size limits inference, our findings suggest that an association between the UGT2B17 copy number variant (CNV) and serum AAG levels in Whites, but unexpectedly not in Blacks. This novel observation suggests that genetic determinants of AAG levels in Blacks are unrelated to the UGT2B17 CNV. This study replicates the results that show an association of UGT215(D85Y) with an increased prostate cancer risk.

Pâquet S, Fazli L, Grosse L, et al.
Differential expression of the androgen-conjugating UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes in prostate tumor cells during cancer progression.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 97(3):E428-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Androgens play major roles in prostate cancer initiation and development. In prostate cells, the human uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes inactivate androgens.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated in vivo how UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expressions are affected during prostate cancer development.
DESIGN: We conducted an observational study of the UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein levels.
SETTING: The study was conducted at Laval University (Québec, Canada) and at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada).
PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: Participants were from a cohort of prostate cancer patients from the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec hospital (Québec; mRNA analyses) and from the Vancouver Prostate Centre tissue bank (Vancouver; tissue microarray experiments).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: UGT mRNA and protein levels were determined using real-time PCR and immunohistochemical analyses, respectively.
RESULTS: Both UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein levels were not significantly associated with Gleason score stratification. However, when protein levels were compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia, UGT2B17 was significantly more abundant in all Gleason-scored tumors. By contrast, UGT2B15 levels were significantly reduced in naive and castration-resistant tumors and undetectable in lymph node metastases. Finally, UGT2B17 proteins were 5-fold more abundant in metastases than in benign samples.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study reveals that UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 are differentially regulated during prostate cancer progression. Furthermore, this study also identifies the UGT2B15 gene as a negatively regulated target gene in castration-resistant prostate cancer and lymph node metastases.

Sun T, Oh WK, Jacobus S, et al.
The impact of common genetic variations in genes of the sex hormone metabolic pathways on steroid hormone levels and prostate cancer aggressiveness.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011; 4(12):2044-50 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Our previous work suggested that there was no significant association between plasma steroid hormone levels and prostate cancer tumor grade at diagnosis. In this study, we systematically tested the hypothesis that inherited variations in the androgen and estrogen metabolic pathways may be associated with plasma levels of steroid hormones, or prostate cancer aggressiveness at diagnosis. Plasma hormone levels including total testosterone, total estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin were measured in a cohort of 508 patients identified with localized prostate cancer. D'Amico risk classification at diagnosis was also determined. A total of 143 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 30 genes that are involved in androgen and estrogen metabolism were selected for analysis. The global association of genotypes with plasma hormone levels and prostate cancer aggressiveness (D'Amico risk classification) was statistically analyzed. Q values were estimated to account for multiple testing. We observed significant associations between plasma testosterone level and SNPs in HSD17B2 (rs1424151), HSD17B3 (rs9409407), and HSD17B1 (rs12602084), with P values of 0.002, 0.006, and 0.006, respectively. We also observed borderline significant associations between prostate aggressiveness at diagnosis and SNPs in AKR1C1 (rs11252845; P = 0.005), UGT2B15 (rs2045100; P = 0.007), and HSD17B12 (rs7932905; P = 0.008). No individual SNP was associated with both clinical variables. Genetic variants of genes in hormone metabolic pathways may influence plasma androgen levels or prostate cancer aggressiveness. However, it seems that the inherited variations affecting plasma hormone levels differ from those affecting disease aggressiveness.

Pfeiffer MJ, Smit FP, Sedelaar JP, Schalken JA
Steroidogenic enzymes and stem cell markers are upregulated during androgen deprivation in prostate cancer.
Mol Med. 2011; 17(7-8):657-64 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Considerable levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are found in prostate cancer (PCa) tissue after androgen deprivation therapy. Treatment of surviving cancer-initiating cells and the ability to metabolize steroids from precursors may be the keystones for the appearance of recurrent tumors. To study this hypothesis, we assessed the expression of several steroidogenic enzymes and stem cell markers in clinical PCa samples and cell cultures during androgen depletion. Gene expression profiles were determined by microarray or qRT-PCR. In addition, we measured cell viability and analyzed stem cell marker expression in DuCaP cells by immunocytochemistry. Seventy patient samples from different stages of PCa, and the PCa cell line DuCaP were included in this study. The androgen receptor (AR) and enzymes (AKR1C3, HSD17B2, HSD17B3, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 ) that are involved in the metabolism of adrenal steroids were upregulated in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In vitro, some DuCaP cells survived androgen depletion, and eventually gave rise to a culture adapted to these conditions. During and after this transition, most of the steroidogenic enzymes were upregulated. These cells also are enriched with stem/progenitor cell markers cytokeratin 5 (CK5) and ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2). Similarly, putative stem/progenitor cell markers CK5, c-Kit, nestin, CD44, c-met, ALDH1A1, α2-integrin, CD133, ABCG2, CXCR4 and POU5F1 were upregulated in clinical CRPC. The upregulation of steroidogenic enzymes and stem cell markers in recurrent tumors suggests that cancer initiating cells can expand by adaptation to their T/DHT deprived environment. Therapies targeting the metabolism of adrenal steroids by the tumor may prove effective in preventing tumor regrowth.

Hu DG, Mackenzie PI
Forkhead box protein A1 regulates UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 gene transcription in LNCaP prostate cancer cells.
Drug Metab Dispos. 2010; 38(12):2105-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) 2B15 and 2B17 are the major UGTs involved in the inactivation and elimination of the active androgens, dihydrotestosterone and testosterone. Although regulation of these UGT genes by various endogenous and exogenous ligands, including steroid hormones and bile acids, is well documented, the mechanisms controlling their basal gene expression are poorly understood. We recently reported that Forkhead box protein A1 (FOXA1) regulates the basal expression of the UGT2B17 gene in prostate cancer cells. In this study, we show that FOXA1 also regulates basal expression of the UGT2B15 gene in the prostate cell line LNCaP (lymph node carcinoma of the prostate). FOXA1 binds to a site -208 to -217 base pairs relative to the UGT2B15 translation start site, as shown by electromobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Mutation of this site prevents binding and substantially decreases basal UGT2B15 promoter activity. Silencing of FOXA1 expression by small interfering RNA significantly reduced UGT2B15 transcript levels, further confirming a crucial role of FOXA1 in controlling UGT2B15 gene expression. Because local inactivation of active androgens by UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 has been shown to be a major determinant of androgen response and signaling activity, regulation of the UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 genes by FOXA1 may have an important role in the maintenance of androgen homeostasis within prostate cancer cells.

Hu DG, Mackenzie PI
Estrogen receptor alpha, fos-related antigen-2, and c-Jun coordinately regulate human UDP glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 and 2B17 expression in response to 17beta-estradiol in MCF-7 cells.
Mol Pharmacol. 2009; 76(2):425-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 and 2B17 expression is up-regulated by 17beta-estradiol in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, as assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Using 5'-deletion mapping and site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrate that 17beta-estradiol activation of UGT2B15 gene transcription is mediated by a 282-base pair fragment positioned -454 to -172 nucleotides from the translation start site. This region contains two putative activator protein-1 (AP-1) elements, one imperfect estrogen response element (ERE), and two consensus ERE half-sites. We propose that these five sites act as an estrogen response unit (ERU), because mutation in any site reduces activation of the UGT2B15 promoter by 17beta-estradiol. Despite the presence of two AP-1 elements, the UGT2B15 promoter is not responsive to the AP-1 activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. Although electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) indicate that the AP-1 proteins c-Jun and Fos-related antigen 2 (Fra-2) bound to the distal AP-1 site, binding of Jun or Fos family members to the proximal AP-1 site was not detected by EMSA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed a 17beta-estradiol-induced recruitment of estrogen receptor (ER) alpha, c-Jun, and Fra-2 to the 282-bp ERU. The involvement of these three transcription factors in the stimulation of UGT2B15 gene expression by 17beta-estradiol was confirmed by siRNA silencing experiments. Mutagenesis and siRNA experiments indicate that UGT2B17 expression is also regulated by 17beta-estradiol via the ERU, which is fully conserved in both promoters. Because UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 inactivate steroid hormones by glucuronidation, the regulation of their genes by 17beta-estradiol may maintain steroid hormone homeostasis and prevent excessive estrogen signaling activity.

Bao BY, Chuang BF, Wang Q, et al.
Androgen receptor mediates the expression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2 B15 and B17 genes.
Prostate. 2008; 68(8):839-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Enhanced androgen receptor (AR) activity by increased testosterone availability may play important roles in prostate cancer progressing to castration resistant state. Comparison of expression profiles in androgen dependent and independent prostate tumors demonstrated a marked increase of the expression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 (UGT2B15), an androgen catabolic enzyme. We investigated mechanisms controlling the differential expression of UGT2B15 and B17 in response to androgen treatments.
METHODS: Gene expression was determined by RT-PCR. The association of AR with UGT2B15/B17 genes was determined by Chromatin immuno-precipitation (CHIP). RNA interference was used to knock-down gene expression.
RESULTS: UGT2B15 and B17 genes were not expressed in AR negative prostate cancer cell lines, PC3 and DU145, while they were expressed in AR positive cell lines, LNCaP, LNCaP-abl (an androgen independent LNCaP sub-line), and VCaP. The expression levels of UGT2B15/B17 were up-regulated in LNCaP-abl comparing to those in LNCaP. These results suggest the requirement of AR for the expression of UGT2B15/B17. Treatment with DHT down-regulated the expression of UGT2B15/B17 in LNCaP in a time and dose dependent manner and this down-regulation was competitively antagonized by flutamide and bicalutimide, suggesting a pathway mediated by AR. Further CHIP experiments demonstrated the direct interaction of AR with the promoter regions of UGT2B15/B17 genes. Knocking down AR expression in LNCaP significantly reduced the expression of UGT2B15/B17 and completely inhibited the DHT-induced down-regulation of UGT2B15/B17 genes.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that UGT2B15 and B17 are primary androgen-regulated genes and AR is required for both their basal expression and their androgen-regulated expression.

Kaeding J, Bélanger J, Caron P, et al.
Calcitrol (1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) inhibits androgen glucuronidation in prostate cancer cells.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2008; 7(2):380-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Calcitriol (1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3)), the active metabolite of vitamin D, has recently emerged as a promising therapeutic agent in the treatment of prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer death in American males. In the present study, we have analyzed the effects of calcitriol treatment on the expression and activity of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B15 and 2B17 in prostate cancer LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells. These two enzymes share a crucial role in the inactivation of androgens in the human prostate. We report that calcitriol treatment results in lower glucuronide conjugation of the active androgen dihydrotestosterone and its reduced metabolites androstane-3alpha-diol and androsterone in LNCaP cells. The same treatment also drastically decreased the mRNA and protein levels of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 in LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells. Using casodex, an androgen receptor (AR) antagonist, and AR-specific small interfering RNA probes, we show that calcitriol requires a functional AR to inhibit the expression of the UGT2B17 gene in LNCaP cells. By contrast, transient transfection and site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that calcitriol down-regulates UGT2B15 promoter activity through a responsive region between positions -171 and -113 bp. In conclusion, the present study identifies the vitamin D receptor activator calcitriol as a negative regulator of the UGT2B15- and UGT2B17-dependent inactivation of androgens in prostate cancer LNCaP cells. Androgens promote prostate cancer cell proliferation; thus, the reduction of their inactivation could have a limiting effect of the calcitriol antiproliferative properties in prostate cancer cells.

Berkhout M, Roelofs HM, te Morsche RH, et al.
Detoxification enzyme polymorphisms are not involved in duodenal adenomatosis in familial adenomatous polyposis.
Br J Surg. 2008; 95(4):499-505 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) are at high risk of developing duodenal adenomas and carcinomas. Besides germline mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, additional factors may influence the age of onset and number of duodenal adenomas. This study compared the genotype distributions of duodenal detoxification enzyme isoforms in patients with FAP and controls.
METHODS: The study included 85 patients with FAP and 218 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. Genotyping of all participants using polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect polymorphisms in isoforms of uridine 5'-diphosphate glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) and glutathione S-transferases (GSTs): UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A4, UGT1A6, UGT1A10, UGT2B4, UGT2B7, UGT2B15, GSTA1, GSTP1, GSTM1 and GSTT1.
RESULTS: The variant genotypes of UGT1A3 were less common in patients with FAP than in controls (odds ratio 0.39 (95 per cent confidence interval 0.22 to 0.67)). There were no associations between FAP and the other polymorphic genes. The polymorphisms investigated had no predictive value for the severity of duodenal adenomatosis in patients with FAP.
CONCLUSION: Although the variant genotypes of UGT1A3 were less common in patients with FAP than in those without, this did not modulate the severity of duodenal adenomatosis.

Kaeding J, Bouchaert E, Bélanger J, et al.
Activators of the farnesoid X receptor negatively regulate androgen glucuronidation in human prostate cancer LNCAP cells.
Biochem J. 2008; 410(2):245-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgens are major regulators of prostate cell growth and physiology. In the human prostate, androgens are inactivated in the form of hydrophilic glucuronide conjugates. These metabolites are formed by the two human UGT2B15 [UGT (UDP-glucuronosyltransferase) 2B15] and UGT2B17 enzymes. The FXR (farnesoid X receptor) is a bile acid sensor controlling hepatic and/or intestinal cholesterol, lipid and glucose metabolism. In the present study, we report the expression of FXR in normal and cancer prostate epithelial cells, and we demonstrate that its activation by chenodeoxycholic acid or GW4064 negatively interferes with the levels of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein in prostate cancer LNCaP cells. FXR activation also causes a drastic reduction of androgen glucuronidation in these cells. These results point out activators of FXR as negative regulators of androgen-conjugating UGT expression in the prostate. Finally, the androgen metabolite androsterone, which is also an activator of FXR, dose-dependently reduces the glucuronidation of androgens catalysed by UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 in an FXR-dependent manner in LNCaP cells. In conclusion, the present study identifies for the first time the activators of FXR as important regulators of androgen metabolism in human prostate cancer cells.

Chouinard S, Barbier O, Bélanger A
UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 (UGT2B15) and UGT2B17 enzymes are major determinants of the androgen response in prostate cancer LNCaP cells.
J Biol Chem. 2007; 282(46):33466-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2 (UGT2)B15 and B17 enzymes conjugate dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and its metabolites androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol (3alpha-DIOL) and androsterone (ADT). The presence of UGT2B15/B17 in the epithelial cells of the human prostate has been clearly demonstrated, and significant 3alpha-DIOL glucuronide and ADT-glucuronide concentrations have been detected in this tissue. The human androgen-dependent cancer cell line, LNCaP, expresses UGT2B15 and -B17 and is also capable of conjugating androgens. To assess the impact of these two genes in the inactivation of androgens in LNCaP cells, their expression was inhibited using RNA interference. The efficient inhibitory effects of a UGT2B15/B17 small interfering RNA (siRNA) probe was established by the 70% reduction of these UGT mRNA levels, which was further confirmed at the protein levels. The glucuronidation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), 3alpha-DIOL, and ADT by LNCaP cell homogenates was reduced by more than 75% in UGT2B15/B17 siRNA-transfected LNCaP cells when compared with cells transfected with a non-target probe. In UGT2B15/B17-deficient LNCaP cells, we observe a stronger response to DHT than in control cells, as determined by cell proliferation and expression of eight known androgen-sensitive genes. As expected, the amounts of DHT in cell culture media from control cells were significantly lower than that from UGT2B15/B17 siRNA-treated cells, which was caused by a higher conversion to its corresponding glucuronide derivative. Taken together these data support the idea that UGT2B15 and -B17 are critical enzymes for the local inactivation of androgens and that glucuronidation is a major determinant of androgen action in prostate cells.

Cunningham JM, Hebbring SJ, McDonnell SK, et al.
Evaluation of genetic variations in the androgen and estrogen metabolic pathways as risk factors for sporadic and familial prostate cancer.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007; 16(5):969-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies suggest that enzymes involved in the androgen metabolic pathway are susceptibility factors for prostate cancer. Estrogen metabolites functioning as genotoxins have also been proposed as risk factors. In this study, we systematically tested the hypothesis that common genetic variations for those enzymes involved in the androgen and estrogen metabolic pathways increase risk for sporadic and familial prostate cancer. From these two pathways, 46 polymorphisms (34 single nucleotide polymorphisms, 10 short tandem repeat polymorphisms, and 2 null alleles) in 25 genes were tested for possible associations. Those genes tested included PRL, LHB, CYP11A1, HSD3B1, HSD3B2, HSD17B2, CYP17, SRD5A2, AKR1C3, UGT2B15, AR, SHBG, and KLK3 from the androgen pathway and CYP19, HSD17B1, CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, GSTT1, GSTM1, NQO1, ESR1, and ESR2 from the estrogen pathway. A case-control study design was used with two sets of cases: familial cases with a strong prostate cancer family history (n = 438 from 178 families) and sporadic cases with a negative prostate cancer family history (n = 499). The controls (n = 493) were derived from a population-based collection. Our results provide suggestive findings for an association with either familial or sporadic prostate cancer with polymorphisms in four genes: AKR1C3, HSD17B1, NQO1, and GSTT1. Additional suggestive findings for an association with clinical variables (disease stage, grade, and/or node status) were observed for single nucleotide polymorphisms in eight genes: HSD3B2, SRD5A2, SHBG, ESR1, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, GSTT1, and NQO1. However, none of the findings were statistically significant after appropriate corrections for multiple comparisons. Given that the point estimates for the odds ratio for each of these polymorphisms are <2.0, much larger sample sizes will be required for confirmation.

Valentini A, Biancolella M, Amati F, et al.
Valproic acid induces neuroendocrine differentiation and UGT2B7 up-regulation in human prostate carcinoma cell line.
Drug Metab Dispos. 2007; 35(6):968-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer originates as an androgen-dependent hyperproliferation of the epithelial cells of the gland and it evolves in an androgen-independent, highly aggressive cancer for which no successful therapy is available to date. Neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation plays an important role in the progression of prostate cancer to an androgen-independent state with profound impact on prostate cancer (CaP) therapies. Actually, new approaches on treating advanced prostate cancer are focused on modulators of epigenetic transcriptional regulation. A new class of antitumoral agents is emerging: histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are interesting for their ability to arrest cell growth, to induce cell differentiation, and in some cases, to induce apoptosis of cancer cells. We studied the effect of valproic acid (VPA), an inhibitor of HDAC, in the human prostate androgen-dependent cancer cell line LNCaP. We observed that VPA promotes neuroendocrine-like differentiation associated with an increase in the expression of neuron-specific enolase, a decrease in prostate-specific antigen, and a down-regulation of androgen receptor protein, suggesting a modulation in the responsiveness to androgen therapy. Furthermore, selective gene expression profiling using a low-density microarray showed that VPA was able to modulate the expression of different androgen metabolism genes. We observed a down-regulation of androgen receptor coregulator (ARA24) and prostate-specific antigen, and an up-regulation of some of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT2B11 and UGT2B7) implicated in catabolism of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) was detected. Even though UGT2B7 has only about one-tenth to one-hundredth the activity of UGT2B15 and 2B17 toward active androgens and we did not found any modulation in gene expression of these enzymes, it can be hypothesized that VPA might enhance DHT catabolism in this in vitro model and induces NE differentiation. Our data seem to raise concern about CaP treatment with VPA.

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