Lung cytochrome P450 activity has been linked to neoplasia and may produce reactive oxidant species and potent arachidonic acid metabolites. In lamb lung, oxygen breathing increases lung P450 activity, and inhibition of lung cytochrome P450 activity reduces oxygen-induced lung injury. The P4501A1 (CYP1A1) isozyme is present in many lung cells, including endothelial cells, and may therefore be involved in the pathogenesis of hyperoxic injury to microvascular endothelium. Therefore, to test the hypothesis that oxygen regulates P4501A1 gene expression in the lung, we cloned the sheep P4501A1 cDNA, and examined its regulation by oxygen breathing significantly increased lung P4501A1 RNA levels and that this increase preceded the increase in isozyme activity. Oxygen exposure also promptly increased P4501A1 RNA levels in cultured lamb lung microvascular endothelial cells but not in endothelial cells isolated from the main pulmonary artery or in lung smooth muscle cells. The oxygen-stimulated increase in P4501A1 RNA levels was not serum dependent, was unaffected by cycloheximide treatment, and could not be mimicked by treatment of the cells with oxygenated medium, conditioned medium, or by chemical oxidants. By nuclear run-on assay in cultured lung endothelial cells, oxygen increased the transcription rate of P4501A1 by almost fourfold after 90 min of oxygen exposure but had no significant effect on P4501A1 RNA stability. We conclude that oxygen tension, but not chemical oxidants, increases P4501A1 gene expression pretranslationally in lung microvascular endothelial cells. We speculate that oxygen induction of P450 activity in these cells may contribute to microvascular injury during oxygen breathing.


T A Hazinski, E Noisin, I Hamon, A DeMatteo


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