Cytochrome P450 1B1 mRNA Untranslated Regions Interact to Inhibit Protein Translation

Andrea Devlin, Paul Thompson, Tracy Robson, SR McKeown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


CYP1B1 mRNA is expressed constitutively in all normal extrahepatic human tissues, though the protein is usually undetectable. In contrast, CYP1B1 protein is expressed at high levels in tumors. In this study CYP1B1 mRNA and protein expression was measured in a panel of cell lines indicating that CYP1B1 regulation is altered in tumor cell lines in vitro. Interrogation of ONCOMINE revealed that CYP1B1 mRNA is not significantly overexpressed in tumors compared to normal tissues, suggesting CYP1B1 is subject to posttranscriptional control. Analysis of the CYP1B1 mRNA revealed a complex 5' untranslated region (UTR) containing a small upstream open-reading frame (uORF). These features are present in mRNAs subject to translational control so the effect of the 5'UTR was tested using in vitro translation in CHO-K1 cells. The 5'UTR significantly inhibited luciferase reporter gene translation, and mutation of the uORF start codon abolished the inhibitory effect. The 5'UTR also interacted with the microRNA-27b recognition element in the CYP1B1 mRNA 3'UTR to almost completely inhibit translation. CYP1B1 is subject to a high degree of translational control, which may explain the absence of protein expression in normal cells. Alterations in translational control during malignant transformation may help to explain the tumor-specific expression of CYP1B1 protein. Mol. Carcinog. (C) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Feb 2010


  • CYP1B1
  • uORF
  • untranslated region
  • microRNA-27b
  • translation


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