Induction of cyp1a1 is a nonspecific biomarker of aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation: results of large scale screening of pharmaceuticals and toxicants in vivo and in vitro.
The effect of several structurally different benzimidazole compounds on CYP1A1 expression at the transcriptional, mRNA and protein levels was investigated in the rat hepatoma H4IIE cell line. Omeprazole, thiabendazole, carbendazim, 2-mercaptobenzimidazole and 2-mercapto-5-methoxybenzimidazole caused a dose-dependent increase in CYP1A1 protein levels that reached maximum effect at 250 microm, as measured by Western blot. In addition, hydroxyomeprazole, 2-aminobenzimidazole and 2-mercapto-5-nitro-benzimidazole caused a notable increase in CYP1A1 protein expression, whereas 5-O-desmethylomeprazole, 2-hydroxybenzimidazole, 2-benzimidazole propionic acid and 5-benzimidazole carboxylic acid were ineffective. Thus, benzimidazole substituted with a thiol or an amino group in the 2-position were active inducers. Northern blot analysis confirmed an extensive increase of CYP1A1 mRNA induced by omeprazole and 2-mercapto-5-methoxybenzimidazole which was 32% and 49% of maximal induction by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) respectively, whereas thiabendazole and carbendazim showed approximately 15% increase as compared to TCDD. Transient transfection of H4IIE cells, with a XRE-pGL3 reporter gene construct revealed a 2.3-4.3-fold induction by carbendazim, thiabendazole, and 2-mercapto-5-methoxybenzimidazole as compared to a 3.3- and 23-fold induction by omeprazole and TCDD, respectively. Thus, these data indicate that the benzimidazoles utilize the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-arnt-XRE-mediated signal-transduction pathway for induction of the CYP1A1 gene.