Naturally-occurring splice variants of human constitutive androstane receptor (hCAR) exist, including hCAR-SV23 (insertion of amino acids SPTV), hCAR-SV24 (APYLT), and hCAR-SV25 (SPTV and APYLT). An extract of G. biloba was reported to activate hCAR-SV24 and the wild-type (hCAR-WT). However, it is not known whether it selectively affects hCAR splice variants, how it activates hCAR isoforms, and which chemical is responsible for the effects of the extract. Therefore, we evaluated the impact of G. biloba extract on the functionality of hCAR-SV23, hCAR-SV24, hCAR-SV25, and hCAR-WT, and compared it to that of phenobarbital, di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), 6-(4-chlorophenyl)imidazo[2,1-b][1,3]thiazole-5-carbaldehyde O-(3,4-dichlorobenzyl)oxime (CITCO), and 1,4-bis-[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene (TCPOBOP) in cell-based reporter gene assays. Among the hCAR splice variants investigated, only hCAR-SV23 was activated by G. biloba extract, and this required co-transfection of a retinoid X receptor-α (RXRα) expression plasmid. The extract activated hCAR-SV23 to a lesser extent than hCAR-WT, but ginkgolide A, ginkgolide B, ginkgolide C, ginkgolide J, or bilobalide was not responsible for the effects of the extract. CITCO activated hCAR-SV23, hCAR-SV24, and hCAR-WT. By comparison, phenobarbital activated hCAR-WT, whereas DEHP activated hCAR-SV23, hCAR-SV24 (with exogenous RXRα supplementation), and hCAR-WT. TCPOBOP did not affect the activity of any of the isoforms. G. biloba extract and phenobarbital did not bind or recruit coactivators to the ligand-binding domains of hCAR-WT and hCAR-SV23, whereas positive results were obtained with the controls (CITCO for hCAR-WT and DEHP for hCAR-SV23). In conclusion, G. biloba extract activates hCAR in an isoform-selective manner, and hCAR-SV23, hCAR-SV24, and hCAR-WT have overlapping but distinct sets of ligands.
- Received July 18, 2011.
- Revision received August 21, 2011.
- Accepted August 22, 2011.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics