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Sci. Signal., 7 May 2013
Vol. 6, Issue 274, p. ra31
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003705]

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Phenobarbital Indirectly Activates the Constitutive Active Androstane Receptor (CAR) by Inhibition of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling

Shingo Mutoh1, Mack Sobhany1, Rick Moore1, Lalith Perera2, Lee Pedersen2,3, Tatsuya Sueyoshi1, and Masahiko Negishi1*

1 Pharmacogenetics Section, Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
2 Laboratory of Structural Biology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
3 Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Abstract: Phenobarbital is a central nervous system depressant that also indirectly activates nuclear receptor constitutive active androstane receptor (CAR), which promotes drug and energy metabolism, as well as cell growth (and death), in the liver. We found that phenobarbital activated CAR by inhibiting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. Phenobarbital bound to EGFR and potently inhibited the binding of EGF, which prevented the activation of EGFR. This abrogation of EGFR signaling induced the dephosphorylation of receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) at Tyr52, which then promoted the dephosphorylation of CAR at Thr38 by the catalytic core subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. The findings demonstrated that the phenobarbital-induced mechanism of CAR dephosphorylation and activation is mediated through its direct interaction with and inhibition of EGFR.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: negishi{at}niehs.nih.gov

Citation: S. Mutoh, M. Sobhany, R. Moore, L. Perera, L. Pedersen, T. Sueyoshi, M. Negishi, Phenobarbital Indirectly Activates the Constitutive Active Androstane Receptor (CAR) by Inhibition of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling. Sci. Signal. 6, ra31 (2013).

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