Pxr- and Nrf2- mediated induction of ABC transporters by heavy metal ions in zebrafish embryos

Hu, J., Tian, J., Zhang, F., Wang, H., Yin, J.
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)   255: 113329 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Hu, Jia, Tian, Jingjing, Wang, Han, Yin, Jian
ABC transporters, Heavy metal ions, Nuclear factor E2 related factor 2, Pregnane X receptor, Zebrafish embryo
MeSH Terms
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters/metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Glutathione/metabolism
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Metals, Heavy/toxicity*
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2/genetics*
  • Pregnane X Receptor/genetics*
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/metabolism
  • Receptors, Steroid/genetics
  • Transcription Factors/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
31600704 Full text @ Environ. Pollut.
Transcription factors including pregnane X receptor (Pxr) and nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) are important modulators of Adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in mammalian cells. However, whether such modulation is conserved in zebrafish embryos remains largely unknown. In this manuscript, pxr- and nrf2-deficient models were constructed with CRISPR/Cas9 system, to evaluate the individual function of Pxr and Nrf2 in the regulation of ABC transporters and detoxification of heavy metal ions like Cd2+ and Ag+. As a result, both Cd2+ and Ag+ conferred extensive interactions with ABC transporters in wild type (WT) embryos: their accumulation and toxicity were affected by the activity of ABC transporters, and they significantly induced the mRNA expressions of ABC transporters. These induction effects were reduced by the mutation of pxr and nrf2, but elevations in the basal expression of ABC transporters compensated for the loss of their inducibility. This could be an explanation for remaining transporter function in both mutant models as well as the unaltered toxicity of metal ions in pxr-deficient embryos. However, mutation of nrf2 disrupted the production of glutathione (GSH), resulting in the enhanced toxicity of Cd2+/Ag+ in zebrafish embryos. In addition, elevated expressions of other transcription factors like aryl hydrocarbon receptor (ahr) 1b, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (ppar)-β, and nrf2 were found in pxr-deficient models without any treatment, while enhanced induction of ahr1b, ppar-β and pxr could only be seen in nrf2-deficient embryos after the treatment of metal ions, indicating different compensation phenomena for the absence of transcription factors. After all, pxr-deficient and nrf2-deficient zebrafish embryos are useful tools in the functional investigation of Pxr and Nrf2 in the early life stages of aquatic organisms. However, the compensatory mechanisms should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results and need in-depth investigations.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes