In this study, using a combination of immunological and enzymatic characterizations, we compared the forms of cytochrome P-450 induced by ethanol and glutethimide in primary cultures of chicken embryo hepatocytes. Recently we purified a cytochrome P-450 of 50K molecular weight from chicken embryo liver using glutethimide as a prototypic inducer. Antibodies to both this chicken cytochrome P-450 and to rabbit cytochrome P-450 form 3a from the IIE subfamily detected microsomal proteins of 50K induced by either ethanol or glutethimide in cultured chick embryo hepatocytes, indicating the antigenic homology of these subfamilies of cytochromes P-450 among different animal species. However, the antibody to glutethimide-induced chick cytochrome P-450 of 50K inhibited p-nitrophenol hydroxylase and benzphetamine demethylase activities 85-90% in microsomes from both ethanol- and glutethimide-treated cells, indicating similar epitopes whose integrity is required for catalytic activity. In contrast, antibodies to rabbit cytochrome P-450 form 3a had little to no effect on these same microsomal activities. Both ethanol and glutethimide induced microsomal p-nitrophenol and aniline hydroxylase activities in cultured chick embryo hepatocytes. In microsomes from ethanol-treated cells, the turnover of p-nitrophenol per cytochrome P-450 was 2-fold greater than that induced by glutethimide treatment, suggesting that ethanol is inducing a form of cytochrome P-450 that has greater catalytic activity with this substrate than glutethimide-induced forms. Thus, in cultured chick embryo hepatocytes, ethanol may induce cytochromes P-450 from both the IIB and IIE subfamilies.
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