Time course characterization of the induction of cytochrome P-450 2E1 by pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole

Debra K. Winters, Arthur I. Cederbaum

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Cytochrome P-450 (P-450) 2E1 is under transcriptional and post-transcriptional control. Well-defined time courses were carried out to compare the effect of pyrazole and 4-methylpyrazole on catalytic activities, apo-P-450 2E1 levels and mRNA levels to evaluate whether induction of P-450 2E1 is preceded by altered mRNA levels. Two days of treatment with pyrazole or three days of treatment with 4-methylpyrazole resulted in significant induction of P-450 2E1, as assessed by Western blots and by oxidation of dimethylnitrosamine or p-nitrphenol. No changes in mRNA levels were detected with either inducer. Within 2 h of the second treatment with pyrazole, maximal induction of P-450 2E1 was observed, however, 1 8-12 h time-dependent period was required after the third treatment with 4-methylpyrazole for maximal induction. Irrespective of the time period, increased catalytic and P-450 2E1 appears to reflect a post-transcriptional mechanism. A single treatment with 4-methylpyrazole increased P-450 2B1/B2 levels and oxidation of pentoxyresorufin about 2- to 3-fold. No change in mRNA levels for 2B1/B2 was observed. Although significant, the induction of 2B1/B2 by 4-methylpyrazole is more than an order of magnitude less than that by phenobarbital. Pyrazole did not induced 2B1/B2. It appears that, similar to acetone and ethanol, 4-methylpyrazole may increase several P-450 isozymes, whereas pyrazole is more specific for induction of P-450 2E1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Jul 1992


  • 4-methylpyrazole induction
  • Cytochrome P-450 2B1/B2
  • Cytochrome P-4502E1
  • Pyrazole induction
  • Time course of induction


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