Functional interaction between pregnane X receptor and yes-associated protein in xenobiotic-dependent liver hypertrophy and drug metabolism

Taiki Abe, Ryota Shizu, Takamitsu Sasaki, Yuki Shimizu, Takuomi Hosaka, Susumu Kodama, Atsushi Matsuzawa, Kouichi Yoshinari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Pregnane X receptor (PXR), a xenobiotic-responsive nuclear receptor, plays key roles in drug disposition. PXR activation induces liver hypertrophy in rodents, but the molecular mechanism of this effect remains unclear, although the PXR-mediated induction of cytochrome P450s (P450s) is proposed to be involved. Since yes-associated protein (YAP), an effector protein of the Hippo pathway, functions as a transcriptional cofactor that controls organ size via TEA domain family members (TEADs) or other transcription factors, we investigated the functional interaction of PXR with YAP in liver hypertrophy and drug metabolism in this study. The treatment of mice with a PXR activator induced liver hypertrophy, promoted nuclear YAP accumulation, and increased the expression of YAP/TEAD target genes in the liver, suggesting the coactivation of PXR and YAP. Through chronological analyses of this in vivo model, no clear association between PXR-dependent liver hypertrophy and P450 induction was observed. In reporter assays, ligand-activated PXR enhanced YAP-mediated gene transcription, whereas YAP overexpression inhibited PXR-dependent gene transcription. No clear species differences in these transcriptional interactions between humans and mice were observed. Furthermore, in human hepatocarcinoma and primary hepatocyte-like cells, YAP suppressed the expression of liver-enriched transcription factors, including hepatocyte nuclear factor 4a, PXR, the constitutive androstane receptor, and their target genes. These results suggest that YAP is involved in PXR-induced liver hypertrophy and that YAP activation interferes with gene expression associated with various liver functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-601
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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