Differences in the developmental expression of rabbit cytochromes P-450 2E1 and 2E2

H. M. Peng, T. D. Porter, X. Ding, M. J. Coon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The alcohol-inducible CYP2E subfamily in rabbits contains two genes; CYP2E1 encodes the cytochrome earlier termed P-450 3a, and CYP2E2 encodes a cytochrome that is 97% identical in amino acid sequence to cytochrome P-450 (P-450) 2E1. In the present studies, the ontogenic expression of these two cytochromes was examined. In liver, P-450 2E2 mRNA is detectable immediately after birth and reaches slightly greater than the adult level at 2 weeks of age; in contrast, P-450 2E1 mRNA is not detectable until day 14 and increases rapidly to approximately twice the adult level at 5 weeks of age. P-450 2E protein is present in liver immediately after birth, coincident with the appearance of P-450 2E2 mRNA, peaks at 2 weeks, and then, despite the continued elevation in P-450 2E mRNA, decreases to the adult level at 5 weeks. In kidney, P-450 2E2 mRNA is not detectable at any age; P-450 2E1 mRNA, however, is present at 1 week, and the level increases to about half the adult level at 5 weeks of age. P-450 2E protein in this tissue is elevated at 2 weeks, relative to mRNA levels, and reaches approximately half the adult level at 5 weeks. The lack of close correlation between mRNA and protein levels in the liver and kidney of newborn rabbits indicates that the posttranscriptional control of P-450 2E enzyme levels that predominates in adult animals is also operative during the neonatal period. Monooxygenase activities with ethanol and p-nitrophenol as substrates reflect the developmental increase in P-450 2E protein, as well as the appearance and levels of spectrally detectable P-450, cytochrome b5, and NADPH-P-450 reductase in hepatic microsomes. The expression of P-450 2E2, but not P-450 2E1, in early neonates suggests that these two closely related cytochromes may have functional differences that are important during the first few weeks of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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