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Structural and Functional Similarity of Amphibian Constitutive Androstane Receptor with Mammalian Pregnane X Receptor

: Mathäs, M.; Nußhag, C.; Burk, O.; Gödtel-Armbrust, U.; Herlyn, H.; Wojnowski, L.; Windshügel, B.

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PLoS one. Online journal 9 (2014), No.5, Art. e96263, 14 pp.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IME ()

The nuclear receptors and xenosensors constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3) and pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) induce the expression of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and transporters, which also affects various endobiotics. While human and mouse CAR feature a high basal activity and low induction upon ligand exposure, we recently identified two constitutive androstane receptors in Xenopus laevis (xlCARα and β) that possess PXR-like characteristics such as low basal activity and activation in response to structurally diverse compounds. Using a set of complementary computational and biochemical approaches we provide evidence for xlCARα being the structural and functional counterpart of mammalian PXR. A three-dimensional model of the xlCARα ligand-binding domain (LBD) reveals a human PXR-like L-shaped ligand binding pocket with a larger volume than the binding pockets in human and murine CAR. The shape and amino acid composition of the ligand-binding pocket of xlCAR suggests PXR-like binding of chemically diverse ligands which was confirmed by biochemical methods. Similarly to PXR, xlCARα possesses a flexible helix 11’. Modest increase in the recruitment of coactivator PGC-1α may contribute to the enhanced basal activity of three gain-of-function xlCARα mutants humanizing key LBD amino acid residues. xlCARα and PXR appear to constitute an example of convergent evolution.