Carboxylesterases are uniquely expressed among tissues and regulated by nuclear hormone receptors in the mouse

Ryan D. Jones, Anna M. Taylor, Ernest Y. Tong, Joyce J. Repa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Carboxylesterases (CES) are a well recognized, yet incompletely characterized family of proteins that catalyze neutral lipid hydrolysis. Some CES have well-defined roles in xenobiotic clearance, pharmacologic prodrug activation, and narcotic detoxification. In addition, emerging evidence suggests other CES may have roles in lipid metabolism. Humans have six CES genes, whereas mice have 20 Ces genes grouped into five isoenzyme classes. Perhaps due to the high sequence similarity shared by the mouse Ces genes, the tissue-specific distribution of expression for these enzymes has not been fully addressed. Therefore, we performed studies to provide a comprehensive tissue distribution analysis of mouse Ces mRNAs. These data demonstrated that while the mouse Ces family 1 is highly expressed in liver and family 2 in intestine, many Ces genes have a wide and unique tissue distribution defined by relative mRNA levels. Furthermore, evaluating Ces gene expression in response to pharmacologic activation of lipid- and xenobiotic-sensing nuclear hormone receptors showed differential regulation. Finally, specific shifts in Ces gene expression were seen in peritoneal macrophages following lipopolysaccharide treatment and in a steatotic liver model induced by high-fat feeding, two model systems relevant to disease. Overall these data show that each mouse Ces gene has its own distinctive tissue expression pattern and suggest that some CES may have tissue-specific roles in lipid metabolism and xenobiotic clearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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