The present study reports the genomic organization and the characterization of a novel cynomolgus monkey UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzyme, UGT2B30. UGT enzymes are microsomal proteins that catalyse the transfer of the glucuronosyl group from UDP-glucuronic acid (UDPGA) to a wide variety of lipophilic compounds, namely hormonal steroids. The 15kb UGT2B30 gene amplified by PCR showed a genomic organization similar to those encoding UGT2B human enzymes. The cDNA encoding UGT2B30 was isolated from a cynomolgus monkey prostate cDNA library, and the deduced amino acid sequence showed an identity of 94% with UGT2B19, a monkey isoform previously characterized. Stable expression of UGT2B30 protein in human kidney 293 (HK293) cells was assessed by Western-blot analysis and its conjugating activity was screened using 39 potential substrates. The UGT2B30 enzyme is active on many compounds of different classes, including testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol, androsterone, oestradiol, tetrahydroaldosterone and tetrahydrocortisone, with glucuronidation efficiencies (Vmax/Km ratios) ranging from 0.6 to 8.8μl·min−1·mg of protein−1. Reverse-transcriptase-PCR analysis revealed that the UGT2B30 transcript is expressed in several tissues, including prostate, testis, mammary gland, kidney, adrenals and intestine. The relative activity of UGT2B30 in comparison with other simian UGT2B isoforms, as well as its large variety of substrates, strongly suggest that this enzyme is essential to inactivation of several steroids.

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