RNA-sequencing quantification of hepatic ontogeny and tissue distribution of mRNAs of phase II enzymes in mice.
Phase II conjugating enzymes play key roles in the metabolism of xenobiotics. In the present study, RNA sequencing was used to elucidate hepatic ontogeny and tissue distribution of mRNA expression of all major known Phase II enzymes, including enzymes involved in glucuronidation, sulfation, glutathione conjugation, acetylation, methylation, and amino acid conjugation, as well as enzymes for the synthesis of Phase II cosubstrates, in male C57BL/6J mice. Livers from male C57BL/6J mice were collected at 12 ages from prenatal to adulthood. Many of these Phase II enzymes were expressed at much higher levels in adult livers than in perinatal livers, such as Ugt1a6b, -2a3, -2b1, -2b5, -2b36, -3a1, and -3a2; Gsta1, -m1, -p1, -p2, and -z1; mGst1; Nat8; Comt; Nnmt; Baat; Ugdh; and Gclc. In contrast, hepatic mRNA expression of a few Phase II enzymes decreased during postnatal liver development, such as mGst2, mGst3, Gclm, and Mat2a. Hepatic expression of certain Phase II enzymes peaked during the adolescent stage, such as Ugt1a1, Sult1a1, Sult1c2, Sult1d1, Sult2as, Sult5a1, Tpmt, Glyat, Ugp2, and Mat1a. In adult mice, the total transcripts for Phase II enzymes were comparable in liver, kidney, and small intestine; however, individual Phase II enzymes displayed marked tissue specificity among the three organs. In conclusion, this study unveils for the first time developmental changes in mRNA abundance of all major known Phase II enzymes in mouse liver, as well as their tissue-specific expression in key drug-metabolizing organs. The age- and tissue-specific expression of Phase II enzymes indicate that the detoxification of xenobiotics is highly regulated by age and cell type.