- Publication date : 2016-09-29
Rouleau M, Tourancheau A, Girard-Bock C, Villeneuve L, Vaucher J, Duperré AM, Audet-Delage Y, Gilbert I, Popa I, Droit A, Guillemette C. Divergent Expression and Metabolic Functions of Human Glucuronosyltransferases through Alternative Splicing. Cell Rep. 2016;17:114-24. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.08.077. PubMed PMID: 27681425.
Maintenance of cellular homeostasis and xenobiotic detoxification is mediated by 19 human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes (UGTs) encoded by ten genes that comprise the glucuronidation pathway. Deep RNA sequencing of major metabolic organs exposes a substantial expansion of the UGT transcriptome by alternative splicing, with variants representing 20% to 60% of canonical transcript expression. Nearly a fifth of expressed variants comprise in-frame sequences that may create distinct structural and functional features. Follow-up cell-based assays reveal biological functions for these alternative UGT proteins. Some isoforms were found to inhibit or induce inactivation of drugs and steroids in addition to perturbing global cell metabolism (energy, amino acids, nucleotides), cell adhesion, and proliferation. This work highlights the biological relevance of alternative UGT expression, which we propose increases protein diversity through the evolution of metabolic regulators from specific enzymes.