Gene Summary

Gene:UGT2B15; UDP glucuronosyltransferase family 2 member B15
Summary:This gene encodes a glycosyltransferase that is invovled in the metabolism and elimination of toxic compounts, both endogenous and of xenobiotic origin. This gene plays a role in the regulation of estrogens and androgens. This locus is present in a cluster of similar genes and pseudogenes on chromosome 4. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2016]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Androgen Receptors
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • Postmenopause
  • Alleles
  • Steroids
  • Chromosome 4
  • Homozygote
  • Genetic Variation
  • Hormone-Dependent Cancers
  • Haplotypes
  • CYP17
  • Disease Progression
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Prevalence
  • Enzymologic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Young Adult
  • Tamoxifen
  • Genotype
  • Polymorphism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Androgens
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Messenger RNA
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • MicroRNAs
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Transfection
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Breast Cancer
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: UGT2B15 (cancer-related)

Zhu Z, Chung YM, Sergeeva O, et al.
Loss of dihydrotestosterone-inactivation activity promotes prostate cancer castration resistance detectable by functional imaging.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(46):17829-17837 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Androgens such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are a critical driver of prostate cancer progression. Cancer resistance to androgen deprivation therapies ensues when tumors engage metabolic processes that produce sustained androgen levels in the tissue. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this resistance process are unclear, and functional imaging modalities that predict impending resistance are lacking. Here, using the human LNCaP and C4-2 cell line models of prostate cancer, we show that castration treatment-sensitive prostate cancer cells that normally have an intact glucuronidation pathway that rapidly conjugates and inactivates dihydrotestosterone and thereby limits androgen signaling, become glucuronidation deficient and resistant to androgen deprivation. Mechanistically, using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene ablation, we found that loss of UDP glucuronosyltransferase family 2 member B15 (UGT2B15) and UGT2B17 is sufficient to restore free dihydrotestosterone, sustained androgen signaling, and development of castration resistance. Furthermore, loss of glucuronidation enzymatic activity was also detectable with a nonsteroid glucuronidation substrate. Of note, glucuronidation-incompetent cells and the resultant loss of intracellular conjugated dihydrotestosterone were detectable

Chen X, Li D, Wang N, et al.
Bioinformatic analysis suggests that UGT2B15 activates the Hippo‑YAP signaling pathway leading to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(4):1855-1862 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common malignancies that threatens human health. As the molecular mechanisms unerlying GC are not completely understood, identification of genes related to GC could provide new insights into gene function as well as potential treatment targets. We discovered that UGT2B15 may contribute to the pathogenesis and progression of GC using GEO data and bioinformatic analysis. Using TCGA data, UGT2B15 mRNA was found to be significantly overexpressed in GC tissues; patients with higher UGT2B15 had a poorer prognosis. It was further discovered that UGT2B15 and FOXA1 were both upregulated, and UGT2B15 and Foxa1 were positively correlated in GC. It is known that Foxa1 is a vital threshold to activate the Hippo‑YAP signaling pathway. In addition, we suggest that a potential molecular mechanisms includes UGT2B15 which may upregulate Foxa1, activate the Hippo‑YAP signaling pathway and contribute to the development of GC. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that UGT2B15 may be an oncogene in GC and is a promising therapeutic target for cancer treatment.

Wijayakumara DD, Mackenzie PI, McKinnon RA, et al.
Regulation of UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 by miR-331-5p in Prostate Cancer Cells Involves Canonical and Noncanonical Target Sites.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2018; 365(1):48-59 [PubMed] Related Publications

Tang L, Platek ME, Yao S, et al.
Associations between polymorphisms in genes related to estrogen metabolism and function and prostate cancer risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial.
Carcinogenesis. 2018; 39(2):125-133 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Substantial preclinical data suggest estrogen's carcinogenic role in prostate cancer development; however, epidemiological evidence based on circulating estrogen levels is largely null. Compared with circulating estrogen, the intraprostatic estrogen milieu may play a more important role in prostate carcinogenesis. Using a nested case-control design in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), we examined associations of genetic variants of genes that are involved in estrogen synthesis, metabolism and function with prostate cancer risk. A total of 25 potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 13 genes (PGR, ESR1, ESR2, CYP17A1, HSD17B1, CYP19A1, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, COMT, UGT1A6, UGT1A10, UGT2B7, UGT2B15) were examined in whites only. Controls (n = 1380) were frequency matched to cases on age, PCPT treatment arm, and family history (n = 1506). Logistic regression models adjusted for age and family history were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) separately in the placebo and finasteride arms. SNPs associated with prostate cancer risk differed by treatment arm. The associations appeared to be modified by circulating estrogen and androgen levels. CYP19A1 was the only gene harboring SNPs that were significantly associated with risk in both the placebo and finasteride arms. Haplotype analysis with all three CYP19A1 SNPs genotyped (rs700518, rs2445765, rs700519) showed that risk-allele haplotypes are associated with the increased prostate cancer risk in both arms when comparing with the non-risk allele haplotype. In conclusion, associations between SNPs in estrogen-related genes and prostate cancer risk are complex and may be modified by circulating hormone levels and finasteride treatment.

Ribeiro IP, Marques F, Barroso L, et al.
Genomic profile of oral squamous cell carcinomas with an adjacent leukoplakia or with an erythroleukoplakia that evolved after the treatment of primary tumor: A report of two cases.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(5):6780-6786 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Oral leukoplakia and erythroleukoplakia are common oral potentially malignant disorders diagnosed in the oral cavity. The specific outcome of these lesions remains to be elucidated, as their malignant transformation rate exhibits great variation. The ability to predict which of those potentially malignant lesions are likely to progress to cancer would be vital to guide their future clinical management. The present study reported two patients with tongue squamous cell carcinoma: Case study 1 was diagnosed with a simultaneous leukoplakia and case study 2 developed an erythroleukoplakia following the primary tumor treatment. Whole genome copy number alterations were analyzed using array comparative genomic hybridization. The present study determined more genomic imbalances in the tissues from leukoplakia and erythroleukoplakia compared with their respective tumors. The present study also identified in tumor and potentially malignant lesions common alterations of chromosomal regions and genes, including FBXL5, UGT2B15, UGT2B28, KANSL1, GSTT1 and DUSP22, being some of these typical aberrations described in oral cancer and others are linked to chemoradioresistance. Several putative genes associated with hallmarks of malignancy that may have an important role in predicting the progression of leukoplakia and erythroleukoplakia to squamous cell carcinoma, namely gains in BNIPL, MCL1, STAG2, CSPP1 and ZNRF3 genes were also identified.

Habibi M, Mirfakhraie R, Khani M, et al.
Genetic variations in UGT2B28, UGT2B17, UGT2B15 genes and the risk of prostate cancer: A case-control study.
Gene. 2017; 634:47-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glucuronidation is a major pathway for elimination of exogenous and endogenous compounds such as environmental carcinogens and androgens from the body. This biochemical pathway is mediated by enzymes called uridine diphosphoglucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). Null (del/del) genes polymorphisms in UGT2B17, and UGT2B28 and D85Y single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of UGT2B15 have been reported to increase the risk of prostate cancer. The goal of this study was to determine the association of mentioned genetic variants with the risk of prostate cancer. We investigated the copy number variations (CNVs) of UGT2B17 and UGT2B28 loci and the association between rs1902023 polymorphism of UGT2B15 gene in 360 subjects consisted of 120 healthy controls, 120 prostate cancer (PC) patients and 120 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients. No association was detected for the mentioned polymorphisms and the risk of PC. However, a significant association was detected between UGT2B17 copy number variation and BPH risk (OR=2.189; 95% CI, 1.303-3.675; p=0.003). Furthermore, we observed that the D85Y polymorphism increases the risk of BPH when analyzed in combination with the copy number variation of UGT2B17 gene (OR=0.135; 95% CI, 0.036-0.512; p=0.003). Our findings suggest that the D85Y polymorphism of UGT2B15 and CNVs in UGT2B28 and UGT2B17 genes is not associated with prostate cancer risk in Iranian patients. To our knowledge, this is the first report that implicates the role of CNV of UGT2B17 gene in BPH.

Grant DJ, Chen Z, Howard LE, et al.
UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and biochemical recurrence in prostate cancer progression.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):463 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Uridine 5'-diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2B (UGT2B) genes code for enzymes that catalyze the clearance of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and DHT metabolites in the prostate basal and luminal tissue. The expression of the UGT2B15, UGT2B17, and UGT2B28 enzymes has not been evaluated in prostate tissue samples from hormone therapy-naïve patients.
METHODS: We determined the expression of UGT2B15, UGT2B17, and UGT2B28 enzymes in 190 prostate tissue samples from surgical specimens of a multiethnic cohort of patients undergoing radical prostatectomy at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The association between each protein's percent positive and H-score, a weighted score of staining intensity, and the risk of biochemical recurrence (BCR) was tested using separate Cox proportional hazards models. In an exploratory analysis, UGT2B17 total positive and H-score were divided at the median and we tested the association between UGT2B17 group and risk of BCR.
RESULTS: The median follow-up for all patients was 118 months (IQR: 85-144). Of 190, 83 (44%) patients developed BCR. We found no association between UGT2B15 or UGT2B28 and risk of BCR. However, there was a trend for an association between UGT2B17 and BCR (HR = 1.01, 95% CI 1.00-1.02, p = 0.11), though not statistically significant. Upon further investigation, we found that patients with UGT2B17 higher levels of expression had a significant increased risk of BCR on univariable analysis (HR = 1.57, 95% CI 1.02-2.43, p = 0.041), although this association was attenuated in the multivariable model (HR = 1.50, 95% CI 0.94-2.40, p = 0.088).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that UGT2B17 overexpression may be associated with a significant increased risk of BCR. These results are consistent with previous reports which showed UGT2B17 significantly expressed in advanced prostate cancer including prostate tumor metastases.

Hu DG, Selth LA, Tarulli GA, et al.
Androgen and Estrogen Receptors in Breast Cancer Coregulate Human UDP-Glucuronosyltransferases 2B15 and 2B17.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(19):5881-5893 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glucuronidation is an enzymatic process that terminally inactivates steroid hormones, including estrogens and androgens, thereby influencing carcinogenesis in hormone-dependent cancers. While estrogens drive breast carcinogenesis via the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), androgens play a critical role as prohormones for estrogen biosynthesis and ligands for the androgen receptor (AR). In this study, the expression and regulation of two androgen-inactivating enzymes, the UDP-glucuronosyltransferases UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, was assessed in breast cancer. In large clinical cohorts, high UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 levels positively influenced disease-specific survival in distinct molecular subgroups. Expression of these genes was highest in cases positive for ERα. In cell line models, ERα, AR, and the transcription factor FOXA1 cooperated to increase transcription via tandem binding events at their proximal promoters. ERα activity was dependent on FOXA1, facilitated by AR activation, and potently stimulated by estradiol as well as estrogenic metabolites of 5α-dihydrotestosterone. AR activity was mediated via binding to an estrogen receptor half-site 3' to the FOXA1 and ERα-binding sites. Although AR and FOXA1 bound the UGT promoters in AR-positive/ERα-negative breast cancer cell lines, androgen treatment did not influence basal transcription levels. Ex vivo culture of human breast tissue and ERα

Zimmer BM, Howell ME, Wei Q, et al.
Loss of exogenous androgen dependence by prostate tumor cells is associated with elevated glucuronidation potential.
Horm Cancer. 2016; 7(4):260-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Prostate epithelial cells control the potency and availability of androgen hormones in part by inactivation and elimination. UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UGDH) catalyzes the NAD(+)-dependent oxidation of UDP-glucose to UDP-glucuronate, an essential precursor for androgen inactivation by the prostate glucuronidation enzymes UGT2B15 and UGT2B17. UGDH expression is androgen stimulated, which increases the production of UDP-glucuronate and fuels UGT-catalyzed glucuronidation. In this study, we compared the glucuronidation potential and its impact on androgen-mediated gene expression in an isogenic LNCaP model for androgen-dependent versus castration-resistant prostate cancer. Despite significantly lower androgen-glucuronide output, LNCaP 81 castration-resistant tumor cells expressed higher levels of UGDH, UGT2B15, and UGT2B17. However, the magnitude of androgen-activated UGDH and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) expression, as well as the androgen receptor (AR)-dependent repression of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, was blunted several-fold in these cells. Consistent with these results, the ligand-activated binding of AR to the PSA promoter and subsequent transcriptional activation were also significantly reduced in castration-resistant cells. Analysis of the UDP-sugar pools and flux through pathways downstream of UDP-glucuronate production revealed that these glucuronidation precursor metabolites were channeled through proteoglycan and glycosaminoglycan biosynthetic pathways, leading to increased surface expression of Notch1. Knockdown of UGDH diminished Notch1 and increased glucuronide output. Overall, these results support a model in which the aberrant partitioning of UDP-glucuronate and other UDP-sugars into alternative pathways during androgen deprivation contributes to the loss of prostate tumor cell androgen sensitivity by promoting altered cell surface proteoglycan expression.

Sutiman N, Lim JSL, Muerdter TE, et al.
Pharmacogenetics of UGT1A4, UGT2B7 and UGT2B15 and Their Influence on Tamoxifen Disposition in Asian Breast Cancer Patients.
Clin Pharmacokinet. 2016; 55(10):1239-1250 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tamoxifen (TAM) is an established endocrine treatment for all stages of oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Its complex metabolism leads to the formation of multiple active and inactive metabolites. One of the main detoxification and elimination pathways of tamoxifen and its active metabolites, 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) and endoxifen, is via glucuronidation catalysed by uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). However, few studies have comprehensively examined the impact of variations in the genes encoding the major hepatic UGTs on the disposition of tamoxifen and its metabolites. In the present study, we systematically sequenced exons, exon/intron boundaries, and flanking regions of UGT1A4, UGT2B7 and UGT2B15 in 240 healthy subjects of different Asian ethnicities (Chinese, Malays and Indians) to identify haplotype tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms. Subsequently, 202 Asian breast cancer patients receiving tamoxifen were genotyped for 50 selected variants in the three UGT genes to comprehensively investigate their associations with steady-state plasma levels of tamoxifen, its active metabolites and their conjugated counterparts. The UGT1A4 haplotype (containing variant 142T>G, L48 V defining the *3 allele) was strongly associated with higher plasma levels of TAM-N-glucuronide, with a twofold higher metabolic ratio of TAM-N-glucuronide/TAM observed in carriers of this haplotype upon covariate adjustment (P < 0.0001). Variants in UGT2B7 were not associated with altered O-glucuronidation of both 4-OHT and endoxifen, while UGT2B15 haplotypes had a modest effect on (E)-endoxifen plasma levels after adjustment for CYP2D6 genotypes. Our findings highlight the influence of UGT1A4 haplotypes on tamoxifen disposition in Asian breast cancer patients, while genetic variants in UGT2B7 and UGT2B15 appear to be of minor importance.

Zhang A, Zhang J, Plymate S, Mostaghel EA
Classical and Non-Classical Roles for Pre-Receptor Control of DHT Metabolism in Prostate Cancer Progression.
Horm Cancer. 2016; 7(2):104-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Androgens play an important role in prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. Accordingly, androgen deprivation therapy remains the front-line treatment for locally recurrent or advanced PCa, but patients eventually relapse with the lethal form of the disease termed castration resistant PCa (CRPC). Importantly, castration does not eliminate androgens from the prostate tumor microenvironment which is characterized by elevated tissue androgens that are well within the range capable of activating the androgen receptor (AR). In this mini-review, we discuss emerging data that suggest a role for the enzymes mediating pre-receptor control of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) metabolism, including AKR1C2, HSD17B6, HSD17B10, and the UGT family members UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, in controlling intratumoral androgen levels, and thereby influencing PCa progression. We review the expression of steroidogenic enzymes involved in this pathway in primary PCa and CRPC, the activity and regulation of these enzymes in PCa experimental models, and the impact of genetic variation in genes mediating pre-receptor DHT metabolism on PCa risk. Finally, we discuss recent data that suggests several of these enzymes may also play an unrecognized role in CRPC progression separate from their role in androgen inactivation.

Hagberg Thulin M, Nilsson ME, Thulin P, et al.
Osteoblasts promote castration-resistant prostate cancer by altering intratumoral steroidogenesis.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2016; 422:182-191 [PubMed] Related Publications
The skeleton is the preferred site for prostate cancer (PC) metastasis leading to incurable castration-resistant disease. The increased expression of genes encoding steroidogenic enzymes found in bone metastatic tissue from patients suggests that up-regulated steroidogenesis might contribute to tumor growth at the metastatic site. Because of the overall sclerotic phenotype, we hypothesize that osteoblasts regulate the intratumoral steroidogenesis of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in bone. We here show that osteoblasts alter the steroidogenic transcription program in CRPC cells, closely mimicking the gene expression pattern described in CRPC. Osteoblast-stimulated LNCaP-19 cells displayed an increased expression of genes encoding for steroidogenic enzymes (CYP11A1, HSD3B1, and AKR1C3), estrogen signaling-related genes (CYP19A1, and ESR2), and genes for DHT-inactivating enzymes (UGT2B7, UGT2B15, and UGT2B17). The observed osteoblast-induced effect was exclusive to osteogenic CRPC cells (LNCaP-19) in contrast to osteolytic PC-3 and androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. The altered steroid enzymatic pattern was specific for the intratibial tumors and verified by immunohistochemistry in tissue specimens from LNCaP-19 xenograft tumors. Additionally, the overall steroidogenic effect was reflected by corresponding levels of progesterone and testosterone in serum from castrated mice with intratibial xenografts. A bi-directional interplay was demonstrated since both proliferation and Esr2 expression of osteoblasts were induced by CRPC cells in steroid-depleted conditions. Together, our results demonstrate that osteoblasts are important mediators of the intratumoral steroidogenesis of CRPC and for castration-resistant growth in bone. Targeting osteoblasts may therefore be important in the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Agarwal G, Tulsyan S, Lal P, Mittal B
Generalized Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (GMDR) Analysis of Drug-Metabolizing Enzyme-Encoding Gene Polymorphisms may Predict Treatment Outcomes in Indian Breast Cancer Patients.
World J Surg. 2016; 40(7):1600-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prediction of response and toxicity of chemotherapy can help personalize the treatment and choose effective yet non-toxic treatment regimen for a breast cancer patient. Interplay of variations in various drug-metabolizing enzyme (DME)-encoding genes results in variable response and toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs. Generalized multi-analytical (GMDR) approach was used to determine the influence of the combination of variants of genes encoding phase 0 (SLC22A16); phase I (CYP450, NQO1); phase II (GSTs, MTHFR, UGT2B15); and phase III (ABCB1) DMEs along with confounding factors on the response and toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs in breast cancer patients.
METHODS: In an Indian breast cancer patient cohort (n = 234), response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (n = 111) and grade 2-4 toxicity to chemotherapy were recorded. Patients were genotyped for 19 polymorphisms selected in four phases of DMEs by PCR or PCR-RFLP or Taqman allelic discrimination assay. Binary logistic regression and GMDR analysis was performed. Bonferroni test for multiple comparisons was applied, and p value was considered to be significant at <0.025.
RESULTS: For ABCB1 1236C>T polymorphism, CT genotype was found to be significantly associated with response to NACT in uni-variate and multi-variate analysis (p = 0.018; p = 0.013). The TT genotype of NQO1 609C>T had a significant association with (absence of) grade 2-4 toxicity in uni-variate analysis (p = 0.021), but a non-significant correlation in multi-variate analysis. In GMDR analysis, interaction of CYP3A5*3, NQO1 609C>T, and ABCB1 1236C>T polymorphisms yielded the highest testing accuracy for response to NACT (CVT = 0.62). However, for grade 2-4 toxicity, CYP2C19*2 and ABCB1 3435C>T polymorphisms yielded the best interaction model (CVT = 0.57).
CONCLUSION: This pharmacogenetic study suggests a role of higher order gene-gene interaction of DME-encoding genes, along with confounding factors, in determination of treatment outcomes and toxicity in breast cancer patients. This can be used as a potential objective tool for individualizing breast cancer chemotherapy with high efficacy and low toxicity.

Margaillan G, Lévesque É, Guillemette C
Epigenetic regulation of steroid inactivating UDP-glucuronosyltransferases by microRNAs in prostate cancer.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2016; 155(Pt A):85-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgens play a central role in prostate cancer progression. Systemic and local androgen bioavailability is controlled by UDP-glucuronosyltransferases conjugating enzymes (UGT), namely UGT2B15, UGT2B17 and UGT2B28. Reporter vector assays in HEK293 cells initially validated in silico-predicted regulatory potential of candidate miRNAs to target UGT transcripts, including miR-376c, miR-409 and miR-494 for UGT2B17, miR-331-5p and miR-376c for UGT2B15 while none were efficient for UGT2B28. miR-376c was shown as the most effective to downregulate UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 through interactions with a site conserved in both UGTs. Ectopic miR-376c expression in prostate cancer cells significantly reduced UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression (>32%; P<0.005) with a consequent decrease in dihydrotestosterone glucuronidation (-37%; P<0.001). Consistent with reduced androgen inactivation, ectopic expression of miR-376c changed expression of androgen responsive genes and enhanced cell proliferation with no effect on androgen receptor levels. Sustaining a role of miR-376c in the regulation of androgen-inactivating UGTs, its expression was significantly downregulated in prostatic tumors and further reduced in metastases (P<0.0001), whereas the opposite was observed for UGT2B15/17 (P=0.031). In high-grade tumors (Gleason ≥8), UGT2B15/17 and miR-376c were inversely correlated (r=-0.557; P=0.048) with also a significant relationship in metastases (r=-0.747; P=0.003). In line with a modification in androgen bioavailability, PSA mRNA levels were also negatively correlated to those of UGT2B15/17 (r=-0.573; P=0.01) but positively linked to levels of miR-376c (r=0.577; P=0.039). This study reveals that the androgen-inactivating UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 genes are direct targets of miR-376c and thus may influence steroid metabolism during prostate cancer progression.

Romero-Lorca A, Novillo A, Gaibar M, et al.
Impacts of the Glucuronidase Genotypes UGT1A4, UGT2B7, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 on Tamoxifen Metabolism in Breast Cancer Patients.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132269 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Tamoxifen is used to prevent and treat estrogen-dependent breast cancer. It is described as a prodrug since most of its antiestrogen effects are exerted through its hydroxylated metabolites 4-OH-tamoxifen and endoxifen. In prior work, we correlated optimal plasma levels of these metabolites with certain genotypes of CYP2D6 and SULT1A2. This descriptive study examines correlations between concentrations of tamoxifen's glucuronide metabolites and genotypes UGT1A4 Pro24Thr, UGT1A4 Leu48Val, UGT2B7 His268Tyr, UGT2B15 Asp85YTyr UGT2B15 Lys523Thr and UGT2B17del in 132 patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer under treatment with tamoxifen. Patients were genotyped by real-time and conventional PCR-RFLP. The glucuronides 4-OH-tamoxifen-N-glucuronide, 4-OH-tamoxifen-O-glucuronide and endoxifen-O-glucuronide were isolated from blood plasma and quantified using a high-pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry system. Individuals who were homozygous for UGT1A448VAL showed significantly lower mean concentrations of both glucuronide metabolites compared to subjects genotyped as wt/wt plus wt/48Val (p=0.037 and p=0.031, respectively). Women homozygous for UGT2B7268Tyr also showed mean substrate/product ratios of 4-OH-tamoxifen/4-OH-tamoxifen-O-glucuronide and 4-OH-tamoxifen/4-OH-tamoxifen-N-glucuronide indicative of reduced glucuronidase activity compared to wt homozygotes or to heterozygotes for the polymorphism (p=0.005 and p=0.003, respectively). In contrast, UGT2B15 Lys523Thr and UGT2B17del were associated with possibly increased enzyme activity. Patients with at least one variant allele UGT2B15523Thr showed significantly higher 4-OH-tamoxifen-O-glucuronide and endoxifen-glucuronide levels (p=0.023 and p=0.025, respectively) indicating a variant gene-dose effect. Higher 4-OH-tamoxifen-N-glucuronide levels observed in UGT2B17del genotypes (p=0.042) could be attributed to a mechanism that compensates for the greater expression of other genes in UGT2B17 del/del individuals. Our observations suggest that patients carrying mutations UGT1A448Val, UGT2B7268Tyr or with wt genotypes for UGT2B17nodel and UGT2B15523Lys could be the best candidates for a good response to tamoxifen therapy in terms of eliciting effective plasma active tamoxifen metabolite levels. However, additional studies examining the effects of UGT genotype on overall patient response to TAM are needed to further examine the role of UGT polymorphisms in the therapeutic efficacy of TAM.

Wijayakumara DD, Hu DG, Meech R, et al.
Regulation of Human UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by miR-376c in Prostate Cancer Cell Lines.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015; 354(3):417-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Given the prime importance of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 2B15 and UGT2B17 in inactivating testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, control of their expression and activity in the prostate is essential for androgen signaling homeostasis in this organ. Although several studies provide evidence of transcriptional control of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by various endogenous and exogenous compounds, potential post-transcriptional regulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by microRNAs (miRs) in prostate cancer cells has not been examined. The present study identified a putative miR-376c target site in the 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of both UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNAs. In accordance with the possibility that this miRNA negatively regulates UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression, there is an inverse correlation in the levels of miR-376c and UGT2B15/UGT2B17 mRNAs in prostate cancer cell lines versus normal prostate tissue. In LNCaP cells, transfection of miR-376c mimics inhibited the glucuronidations of testosterone, 4-methylumbelliferone (a substrate of UGT2B15), and androsterone (a substrate of UGT2B17). miR-376c reduced both UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein levels and the activity of luciferase reporters containing UGT2B15 or UGT2B17 3'-UTRs. This microRNA-mediated repression was significantly abrogated by mutating the miR-376c binding site in the 3'-UTRs of both UGTs. Collectively, these data indicate that the expression of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 is negatively regulated by the binding of miR-376c to the 3'-UTRs of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 in prostate cancer cells. This represents the first evidence for post-transcriptional regulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 by miRNAs in prostate cancer cells and may have importance in regulating androgen receptor signaling.

Chanawong A, Hu DG, Meech R, et al.
Induction of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 gene expression by the major active metabolites of tamoxifen, 4-hydroxytamoxifen and endoxifen, in breast cancer cells.
Drug Metab Dispos. 2015; 43(6):889-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported upregulation of UGT2B15 by 17β-estradiol in breast cancer MCF7 cells via binding of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) to an estrogen response unit (ERU) in the proximal UGT2B15 promoter. In the present study, we show that this ERα-mediated upregulation was significantly reduced by two ER antagonists (fulvestrant and raloxifene) but was not affected by a third ER antagonist, 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHTAM), a major active tamoxifen (TAM) metabolite. Furthermore, we found that, similar to 17β-estradiol, 4-OHTAM and endoxifen (another major active TAM metabolite) elevated UGT2B15 mRNA levels, and that this stimulation was significantly abrogated by fulvestrant. Further experiments using 4-OHTAM revealed a critical role for ERα in this regulation. Specifically; knockdown of ERα expression by anti-ERα small interfering RNA reduced the 4-OHTAM-mediated induction of UGT2B15 expression; 4-OHTAM activated the wild-type but not the ERU-mutated UGT2B15 promoter; and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed increased ERα occupancy at the UGT2B15 ERU in MCF7 cells upon exposure to 4-OHTAM. Together, these data indicate that both 17β-estradiol and the antiestrogen 4-OHTAM upregulate UGT2B15 in MCF7 cells via the same ERα-signaling pathway. This is consistent with previous observations that both 17β-estradiol and TAM upregulate a common set of genes in MCF7 cells via the ER-signaling pathway. As 4-OHTAM is a UGT2B15 substrate, the upregulation of UGT2B15 by 4-OHTAM in target breast cancer cells is likely to enhance local metabolism and inactivation of 4-OHTAM within the tumor. This represents a potential mechanism that may reduce TAM therapeutic efficacy or even contribute to the development of acquired TAM resistance.

Mostaghel EA, Morgan A, Zhang X, et al.
Prostate cancer characteristics associated with response to pre-receptor targeting of the androgen axis.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e111545 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Factors influencing differential responses of prostate tumors to androgen receptor (AR) axis-directed therapeutics are poorly understood, and predictors of treatment efficacy are needed. We hypothesized that the efficacy of inhibiting DHT ligand synthesis would associate with intra-tumoral androgen ratios indicative of relative dependence on DHT-mediated growth.
METHODS: We characterized two androgen-sensitive prostate cancer xenograft models after androgen suppression by castration in combination with the SRD5A inhibitor, dutasteride, as well as a panel of castration resistant metastases obtained via rapid autopsy.
RESULTS: In LuCaP35 tumors (intra-tumoral T:DHT ratio 2:1) dutasteride suppressed DHT to 0.02 ng/gm and prolonged survival vs. castration alone (337 vs.152 days, HR 2.8, p = 0.0015). In LuCaP96 tumors (T:DHT 10:1), survival was not improved despite similar DHT reduction (0.02 ng/gm). LuCaP35 demonstrated higher expression of steroid biosynthetic enzymes maintaining DHT levels (5-fold higher SRD5A1, 41 fold higher, 99-fold higher RL-HSD, p<0.0001 for both), reconstitution of intra-tumoral DHT (to ∼30% of untreated tumors), and ∼2 fold increased expression of full length AR. In contrast, LuCaP96 demonstrated higher levels of steroid catabolizing enzymes (6.9-fold higher AKR1C2, 3000-fold higher UGT2B15, p = 0.002 and p<0.0001 respectively), persistent suppression of intra-tumoral DHT, and 6-8 fold induction of full length AR and the ligand independent V7 AR splice variant. Human metastases demonstrated bio-active androgen levels and AR full length and AR splice-variant expression consistent with the range observed in xenografts.
CONCLUSIONS: Intrinsic differences in basal steroidogenesis, as well as variable expression of full length and splice-variant AR, associate with response and resistance to pre-receptor AR ligand suppression. Expression of steroidogenic enzymes and AR isoforms may serve as potential biomarkers of sensitivity to potent AR-axis inhibition and should be validated in additional models.

Gauthier-Landry L, Bélanger A, Barbier O
Multiple roles for UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes in androgen metabolism and prostate cancer evolution.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015; 145:187-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the prostate, approximately 50% of androgens are from adrenal steroids, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), its sulfate and androstenedione. These compounds are converted first into testosterone, and then into the active hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). After having activated the androgen receptor (AR), DHT is reduced into androstane-3α-DIOL (3α-DIOL) and androsterone (ADT), which are subsequently converted into 2 inactive and easily excretable metabolites: 3α-DIOL-17glucuronide (3α-DIOL-17G) and ADT-3glucuronide (ADT-3G). The formation of these last derivatives through the glucuronidation reaction involves 2 UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes, namely UGT2B15 and UGT2B17. The present review article aims at providing a comprehensive view of the physiological and pharmacological importance of these 2 enzymes for the control of androgen homeostasis. We will resume: (i) how UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 contribute to androgen elimination; (ii) how their glucuronidation capacity influences the androgen signaling pathway in prostate cells; (iii) how they contribute to the anti-proliferative properties of AR antagonists in prostate cancer cells; and (iv) how AR and its spliced variants regulate the UGT2B15 and/or UGT2B17 genes expression. Finally, whether the unexploited AR-UGT axis could serve as a prognostic maker or a pharmacological target for novel therapeutics in the treatment of prostate cancer is also discussed. This article is part of a special issue entitled 'Essential role of DHEA'.

Angstadt AY, Hartman TJ, Lesko SM, et al.
The effect of UGT1A and UGT2B polymorphisms on colorectal cancer risk: haplotype associations and gene–environment interactions.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(6):454-66 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) play an important role in the phase II metabolism of exogenous and endogenous compounds. As colorectal cancer (CRC) etiology is thought to involve the biotransformation of dietary factors, UGT polymorphisms may affect CRC risk by altering levels of exposure. Genotyping of over 1800 Caucasian subjects was completed to identify the role of genetic variation in nine UGT1A and five UGT2B genes on CRC risk. Unconditional logistic regression and haplotype analyses were conducted to identify associations with CRC risk and potential gene-environment interactions. UGT1A haplotype analysis found that the T-G haplotype in UGT1A10 exon 1 (block 2: rs17864678, rs10929251) decreased cancer risk for the colon [proximal (OR = 0.28, 95% CI = 0.11–0.69) and for the distal colon (OR = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.12–0.91)], and that the C-T-G haplotype in the 3′ region flanking the UGT1A shared exons (block 11: rs7578153, rs10203853, rs6728940) increased CRC risk in males (OR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.10–5.95). A haplotype in UGT2B15 containing a functional variant (rs4148269, K523T) and an intronic SNP (rs6837575) was found to affect rectal cancer risk overall (OR = 2.57, 95% CI = 1.21–5.04) and in females (OR = 3.08, 95% CI = 1.08–8.74). An interaction was found between high NSAID use and the A-G-T haplotype (block 10: rs6717546, rs1500482, rs7586006) in the UGT1A shared exons that decreased CRC risk. This suggests that UGT genetic variation alters CRC risk differently by anatomical sub-site and gender and that polymorphisms in the UGT1A shared exons may have a regulatory effect on gene expression that allows for the protective effect of NSAIDs on CRC risk.

Scherer D, Koepl LM, Poole EM, et al.
Genetic variation in UGT genes modify the associations of NSAIDs with risk of colorectal cancer: colon cancer family registry.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(7):568-78 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with reduced risk of colorectal neoplasia. Previous studies have reported that polymorphisms in NSAID-metabolizing enzymes central to NSAID metabolism including UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) and cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C9 may modify this protective effect. We investigated whether 35 functionally relevant polymorphisms within CYP2C9 and UGT genes were associated with colorectal cancer risk or modified the protective effect of NSAIDs on colorectal cancer susceptibility, using 1,584 colorectal cancer cases and 2,516 unaffected sibling controls from the Colon Cancer Family Registry. A three-SNP genotype in UGT1A6 (G-A-A; Ala7-Thr181-Arg184) and the Asp85 variant in UGT2B15 increased the risk of colorectal cancer (OR 3.87; 95% CI 1.04-14.45 and OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.10-1.63, respectively). We observed interactions between UGT1A3 Thr78Thr (A>G) and NSAID use (P-interaction = 0.02), a three-SNP genotype within UGT2B4 and ibuprofen use (P-interaction = 0.0018), as well as UGT2B15 Tyr85Asp (T>G) and aspirin use (P-interaction = 0.01). The interaction with the UGT2B4 and the UGT2B15 polymorphisms were noteworthy at the 25% FDR level. This study highlights the need for further pharmacogenetic studies to identify individuals who might benefit from NSAID use as part of developing effective strategies for prevention of colorectal neoplasia. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Vidal AC, Tucker C, Schildkraut JM, et al.
Novel associations of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B gene variants with prostate cancer risk in a multiethnic study.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:556 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that a functional polymorphism of the UGT2B15 gene (rs1902023) was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer (PC). Novel functional polymorphisms of the UGT2B17 and UGT2B15 genes have been recently characterized by in vitro assays but have not been evaluated in epidemiologic studies.
METHODS: Fifteen functional SNPs of the UGT2B17 and UGT2B15 genes, including cis-acting UGT2B gene SNPs, were genotyped in African American and Caucasian men (233 PC cases and 342 controls). Regression models were used to analyze the association between SNPs and PC risk.
RESULTS: After adjusting for race, age and BMI, we found that six UGT2B15 SNPs (rs4148269, rs3100, rs9994887, rs13112099, rs7686914 and rs7696472) were associated with an increased risk of PC in log-additive models (p < 0.05). A SNP cis-acting on UGT2B17 and UGT2B15 expression (rs17147338) was also associated with increased risk of prostate cancer (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.00-2.70); while a stronger association among men with high Gleason sum was observed for SNPs rs4148269 and rs3100.
CONCLUSIONS: Although small sample size limits inference, we report novel associations between UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 variants and PC risk. These associations with PC risk in men with high Gleason sum, more frequently found in African American men, support the relevance of genetic differences in the androgen metabolism pathway, which could explain, in part, the high incidence of PC among African American men. Larger studies are required.

Doherty D, Dvorkin SA, Rodriguez EP, Thompson PD
Vitamin D receptor agonist EB1089 is a potent regulator of prostatic "intracrine" metabolism.
Prostate. 2014; 74(3):273-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A contributing factor to the emergence of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is the ability of the tumor to circumvent low circulating levels of testosterone during androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), through the production of "intracrine" tumoral androgens from precursors including cholesterol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). As these processes promote AR signaling and prostate cancer progression their modulation is required for disease prevention and treatment.
METHODS: We evaluated the involvement of the vitamin D receptor ligand EB1089 in the regulation of genes with a role in androgen metabolism using the androgen dependent cell lines LNCaP and LAPC-4. EB1089 regulation of androgen metabolism was assessed using QRT-PCR, luciferase promoter assays, western blotting, enzyme activity assays, and LC-MS analyses.
RESULTS: EB1089 induced significant expression of genes involved in androgen metabolism in prostate cancer cells. Real-Time PCR analysis revealed that VDR mediated significant regulation of CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A43, AKR1C1-3, UGT2B15/17, and HSD17B2. Data revealed potent regulation of CYP3A4 at the level of mRNA, protein expression and enzymatic activity, with VDR identified as the predominant regulator. Inhibition of CYP3A activity using the specific inhibitor ritonavir resulted in alleviation of the anti-proliferative response of VDR ligands in prostate cancer cells. Mass spectrometry revealed that overexpression of CYP3A protein in prostate cancer cells resulted in a significant increase in the oxidative inactivation of testosterone and DHEA to their 6-β-hydroxy-testosterone and 16-α-hydroxy-DHEA metabolites, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight a potential application of VDR-based therapies for the reduction of growth-promoting androgens within the tumor micro-environment.

Grosse L, Pâquet S, Caron P, et al.
Androgen glucuronidation: an unexpected target for androgen deprivation therapy, with prognosis and diagnostic implications.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(23):6963-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADTh) remains a mainstay of prostate cancer treatment, but its efficacy is bypassed by mechanisms that are not fully understood. In human prostate cancer cells, androgen glucuronidation, catalyzed by the two UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, is the major androgen inactivation pathway. In this study, we investigated the effect of ADTh on androgen glucuronidation to evaluate its potential clinical utility for prostate cancer prognosis or therapy. UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression was evaluated in prostate cancer specimens from untreated or treated patients and in cell models of prostate cancer exposed to clinically relevant antiandrogens. UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 protein levels in prostate were increased after 5 months of ADTh when compared with specimens from untreated patients. UGT2B15 expression remained elevated for up to 12 months, but UGT2B17 returned to initial levels as soon as after 6 months. Several androgen receptor (AR) antagonists tested caused a dose- and time-dependent stimulation of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expression and androgen glucuronidation in prostate cancer cell lines. The role of AR in these regulatory events was confirmed using AR-deficient LNCaP cells, in which UGT2B attenuation reduced the antiproliferative effects of AR pharmacologic antagonists. Through this combination of clinical and functional investigations, our work revealed that ADTh stimulates a local androgen metabolism in prostate cells, establishing a foundation to evaluate the potential of UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 as drug targets and/or molecular markers for ADTh responsiveness and maintenance in prostate cancer.

Markiewicz A, Wełnicka-Jaśkiewicz M, Skokowski J, et al.
Prognostic significance of ESR1 amplification and ESR1 PvuII, CYP2C19*2, UGT2B15*2 polymorphisms in breast cancer patients.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e72219 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Amplification of the ESR1 gene, coding for estrogen receptor alpha, was shown to predict responsiveness to tamoxifen, however its prognostic impact in breast cancer patients has not been thoroughly investigated. Other factors that could contribute to responsiveness to tamoxifen treatment are polymorphisms in ESR1 gene and genes involved in tamoxifen metabolism. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic role of ESR1 gene dosage in a consecutive group of breast cancer patients and to correlate this feature with clinico-pathological factors. Additionally, ESR1 PvuII, CYP2C19*2 and UGT2B15*2 polymorphisms were analyzed in the tamoxifen-treated subgroup of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Primary tumor samples from 281 stage I-III consecutive breast cancer patients were analyzed for ESR1 gene dosage using real-time PCR with locked nucleic acids hydrolysis probes. In the tamoxifen-treated subgroup of patients, ESR1 PvuII, CYP2C19*2 and UGT2B15*2 polymorphism in leukocytes genomic DNA were analyzed. Results were correlated with clinico-pathological factors and with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: ESR1 amplification (with a cut-off level of 2.0) was found in 12% of the entire group of breast cancer patients, and in 18% of the ER-negative subgroup. This feature was associated with decreased DFS both in the entire group (P=0.007) and in the ER-negative subgroup (P=0.03), but not in the tamoxifen-treated patients. Patients with ESR1 PvuII wt/wt genotype and at least one UGT2B15 wt allele had a worse DFS (P=0.03) and showed a trend towards decreased Os (P=0.08) in comparison to patients with ESR1 PvuII wt/vt or vt/vt genotype and UGT2B15 *2/*2 genotype.
CONCLUSIONS: ESR1 amplification can occur in ER-negative tumors and may carry poor prognosis. In the tamoxifen-treated subgroup, poor prognosis was related to the combined presence of ESR1 PvuII wt/wt and UGT2B15wt/wt or wt/*2 genotype.

Dezentjé VO, van Schaik RH, Vletter-Bogaartz JM, et al.
CYP2D6 genotype in relation to tamoxifen efficacy in a Dutch cohort of the tamoxifen exemestane adjuvant multinational (TEAM) trial.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 140(2):363-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical importance of CYP2D6 genotype as predictor of tamoxifen efficacy is still unclear. Recent genotyping studies on CYP2D6 using DNA derived from tumor blocks have been criticized because loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in tumors may lead to false genotype assignment. Postmenopausal early breast cancer patients who were randomized to receive tamoxifen, followed by exemestane in a large randomized controlled trial were genotyped for five CYP2D6 alleles. CYP2D6 genotypes and phenotypes were related to disease-free survival during tamoxifen use (DFS-t) in 731 patients. By analyzing microsatellites flanking the CYP2D6 gene, patients whose genotyping results were potentially affected by LOH were excluded. In addition, exploratory analyses on 24 genetic variants of other metabolic enzymes and the estrogen receptor were performed. For the CYP2D6 analysis, only 2.3 % of the samples were excluded, because influence of LOH could not be ruled out. No association was found between the CYP2D6 genotype or predicted phenotype and DFS-t (poor vs. extensive metabolizers: unadjusted hazard ratio 1.33, 95 % CI 0.52-3.43; P = 0.55). DFS-t was associated with UGT2B15*2 (Vt/Vt + Wt/Vt vs. Wt/Wt: adjusted hazard ratio 0.47, 95 % CI 0.25-0.89; P = 0.019) and the estrogen receptor-1 polymorphism ESR1 PvuII (gene-dose effect: adjusted hazard ratio 1.63, 95 % CI 1.04-2.54; P = 0.033). In postmenopausal early breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant tamoxifen followed by exemestane neither CYP2D6 genotype nor phenotype did affect DFS-t. This is in accordance with two recent studies in the BIG1-98 and ATAC trials. Our study is the first CYP2D6 association study using DNA from paraffin-embedded tumor tissue in which potentially false interpretation of genotyping results because of LOH was excluded. Polymorphisms in the estrogen receptor-1 and UGT2B15 may be associated with tamoxifen efficacy, but these findings need replication.

Dellinger RW, Matundan HH, Ahmed AS, et al.
Anti-cancer drugs elicit re-expression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in melanoma cells.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(10):e47696 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
The UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) family of enzymes plays a vital role in the detoxification of carcinogens as well as clearance of anti-cancer drugs. In humans, 19 UGT family members have been identified and are expressed in a tissue specific manner throughout the body. However, the UGTs have not been previously characterized in melanocytes or melanoma. In the present study, UGT2B7, UGT2B10, and UGT2B15 were identified as being normally expressed in human melanocytes. The same three UGT family members were also expressed in the primary melanoma cell line WM115. No UGT expression was detected in another primary melanoma cell line, WM3211, or in any metastatic melanoma cell line examined. These results suggest that UGT expression is lost during melanoma progression. Treatment of WM3211 or metastatic melanoma cell lines with anti-cancer agents (including vemurafenib) induced expression of UGT2B7, UGT2B10 and UGT2B15 demonstrating that melanoma cells retain the ability to re-express these same three UGTs. The corresponding increase in glucuronidation activity in melanoma cells following anti-cancer treatment was also observed. Furthermore, knockdown of UGT2B7 in WM115 cells sensitized these cells to treatment by adriamycin and epirubicin indicating that UGT2B7 is involved in resistance to these drugs. However, knockdown of UGT2B7 had no effect on temozolomide toxicity. Taken together, these results clearly demonstrate a role for UGTs in melanoma etiology. Since the UGTs are drug metabolism enzymes, we propose that re-expression of the UGTs constitutes a previously unsuspected mechanism for intratumoral drug resistance in melanoma.

Grant DJ, Hoyo C, Oliver SD, et al.
Association of uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2B gene variants with serum glucuronide levels and prostate cancer risk.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2013; 17(1):3-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
AIMS: Uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 2B (UGT2B) enzymes conjugate testosterone metabolites to enable their excretion in humans. The functional significance of the UGT2B genetic variants has never been described in humans. We evaluated UGT2B variants in relation to plasma androstane-3α,17β-diol-glucuronide (AAG) levels and the prostate cancer risk.
RESULTS: AAG levels were measured in sera from 150 controls and compared to the polymorphisms of UGT2B17, UGT2B15, and UGT2B7. Genomic DNA from controls (301) and cases (148) was genotyped for the polymorphisms, and odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression analyses. Having two copies of UGT2B17 was associated with higher AAG levels in controls among Whites (p=0.02), but not Blacks (p=0.82). Logistic regression models adjusting for age and race revealed that homozygosity for the G allele of the UGT2B15(D85Y) polymorphism was directly associated with the prostate cancer risk (OR=2.70, 95% CI=1.28, 5.55).
CONCLUSIONS: While the small sample size limits inference, our findings suggest that an association between the UGT2B17 copy number variant (CNV) and serum AAG levels in Whites, but unexpectedly not in Blacks. This novel observation suggests that genetic determinants of AAG levels in Blacks are unrelated to the UGT2B17 CNV. This study replicates the results that show an association of UGT215(D85Y) with an increased prostate cancer risk.

Pâquet S, Fazli L, Grosse L, et al.
Differential expression of the androgen-conjugating UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes in prostate tumor cells during cancer progression.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 97(3):E428-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Androgens play major roles in prostate cancer initiation and development. In prostate cells, the human uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)2B15 and UGT2B17 enzymes inactivate androgens.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated in vivo how UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 expressions are affected during prostate cancer development.
DESIGN: We conducted an observational study of the UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein levels.
SETTING: The study was conducted at Laval University (Québec, Canada) and at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada).
PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: Participants were from a cohort of prostate cancer patients from the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec hospital (Québec; mRNA analyses) and from the Vancouver Prostate Centre tissue bank (Vancouver; tissue microarray experiments).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: UGT mRNA and protein levels were determined using real-time PCR and immunohistochemical analyses, respectively.
RESULTS: Both UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 mRNA and protein levels were not significantly associated with Gleason score stratification. However, when protein levels were compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia, UGT2B17 was significantly more abundant in all Gleason-scored tumors. By contrast, UGT2B15 levels were significantly reduced in naive and castration-resistant tumors and undetectable in lymph node metastases. Finally, UGT2B17 proteins were 5-fold more abundant in metastases than in benign samples.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study reveals that UGT2B15 and UGT2B17 are differentially regulated during prostate cancer progression. Furthermore, this study also identifies the UGT2B15 gene as a negatively regulated target gene in castration-resistant prostate cancer and lymph node metastases.

Sun T, Oh WK, Jacobus S, et al.
The impact of common genetic variations in genes of the sex hormone metabolic pathways on steroid hormone levels and prostate cancer aggressiveness.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011; 4(12):2044-50 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 16/11/2019 Related Publications
Our previous work suggested that there was no significant association between plasma steroid hormone levels and prostate cancer tumor grade at diagnosis. In this study, we systematically tested the hypothesis that inherited variations in the androgen and estrogen metabolic pathways may be associated with plasma levels of steroid hormones, or prostate cancer aggressiveness at diagnosis. Plasma hormone levels including total testosterone, total estradiol, and sex hormone-binding globulin were measured in a cohort of 508 patients identified with localized prostate cancer. D'Amico risk classification at diagnosis was also determined. A total of 143 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 30 genes that are involved in androgen and estrogen metabolism were selected for analysis. The global association of genotypes with plasma hormone levels and prostate cancer aggressiveness (D'Amico risk classification) was statistically analyzed. Q values were estimated to account for multiple testing. We observed significant associations between plasma testosterone level and SNPs in HSD17B2 (rs1424151), HSD17B3 (rs9409407), and HSD17B1 (rs12602084), with P values of 0.002, 0.006, and 0.006, respectively. We also observed borderline significant associations between prostate aggressiveness at diagnosis and SNPs in AKR1C1 (rs11252845; P = 0.005), UGT2B15 (rs2045100; P = 0.007), and HSD17B12 (rs7932905; P = 0.008). No individual SNP was associated with both clinical variables. Genetic variants of genes in hormone metabolic pathways may influence plasma androgen levels or prostate cancer aggressiveness. However, it seems that the inherited variations affecting plasma hormone levels differ from those affecting disease aggressiveness.

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