Molecular basis for the lack of bilirubin-specific and 3-methylcholanthrene-inducible UDP-glucuronosyltransferase activities in Gunn rats: The two isoforms are encoded by distinct mRNA species that share an identical single base deletion

J. Roy-Chowdhury, T. Huang, K. Kesari, M. Lederstein, I. M. Arias, N. Roy-Chowdhury

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Gunn rats lack UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UDPGT) activity toward bilirubin. In addition, a UDPGT isoform which is active toward 4-nitrophenol and is induced by 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) in normal rats, is produced in a nonfunctional truncated form in Gunn rats due to the deletion of a single guanosine residue in the coding region of its mRNA. The hepatic concentration of bilirubin-UDPGT mRNA was lower in Gunn rats than in congeneic normal rats. However, bilirubin-UDPGT mRNA was of apparently normal length and was induced by clofibrate, a known inducer of bilirubin-UDPGT activity. 3' regions of bilirubin- and 3-MC-inducible UDPGT mRNAs have identical nucleotide sequences; the single base deletion in the 3-MC-inducible UDPGT in Gunn rats occurs within this region. Using oligonucleotide primers corresponding to the identical and unique regions of the two mRNAs, and polymerase chain reaction, we amplified segments of mRNAs for the bilirubin- and 3-MC-inducible UDPGTs from normal and Gunn rat livers. Both amplified DNAs in Gunn rats lacked the restriction site for BstNI. Nucleotide sequence determination revealed that bilirubin- and 3-MC-inducible UDPGT mRNAs in Gunn rats contain an identical frame-shift deletion of a single guanosine residue within the common region of their coding sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18294-18298
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - Nov 8 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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