Homodimerization of Human Bilirubin-Uridine-diphosphoglucuronate Glucuronosyltransferase-1 (UGT1A1) and Its Functional Implications

Siddhartha S. Ghosh, Baljit S. Sappal, Ganjam V. Kalpana, Sung W. Leet, Jayanta Roy Chowdhury, Namita Roy Chowdhury

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82 Scopus citations


Genetic lesions of bilirubin-uridine-diphosphoglucuronate glucuronosyltransferase-1 (UGT1A1) completely or partially abolish hepatic bilirubin glucuronidation, causing Crigler-Najjar syndrome type 1 or 2, respectively. Clinical observations indicate that some mutant forms of human UGT1A1 (hUGT1A1) may be dominant-negative, suggesting their interaction with the wild-type enzyme. To evaluate intermolecular interaction of hUGT1A1, Gunn rat fibroblasts were stably transduced with hUGT1A1 cDNA. Gel permeation chromatography of solubilized microsomes suggested dimerization of hUGT1A1 in solution. Nearest-neighbor cross-linking analysis indicated that, within microsomal membranes, hUGT1A1 dimerized more efficiently at pH 7.4 than at pH 9. Two-hybrid analysis in yeast and mammalian systems demonstrated positive interaction of hUGT1A1 with itself, but not with another UGT isoform, human UGT1A6, which differs only in the N-terminal domain. Dimerization was abolished by deletion of the membrane-embedded helix from the N-terminal domain of hUGT1A1, but not by substitution of several individual amino acid residues or partial deletion of the C-terminal domain. A C127Y substitution abolished UGT1A1 activity, but not its dimerization. Coexpression of mutagenized and wild-type hUGT1A1 in COS-7 cells showed that the mutant form markedly suppressed the catalytic activity of wild-type hUGT1A1. Homodimerization of hUGT1A1 may explain the dominant-negative effect of some mutant forms of the enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42108-42115
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 9 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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