Pregnane X receptor as the "sensor and effector" in regulating epigenome. Academic Article uri icon


  • The pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) is a ligand-activated nuclear receptor which plays an essential role in organism's metabolic detoxification system by sensing the presence of xenobiotics and triggering detoxification responses. In addition to its role in xenobiotic metabolism, PXR has pleiotropic functions in regulating immune/inflammatory responses, cell proliferation, bile acid/cholesterol metabolism, glucose and lipid metabolism, steroid/endocrine homeostasis, and bone metabolism. Recent research suggests that the PXR is required for maintaining healthy commensalism between microbiota and gut. Interestingly, the metabolites such as indole derivatives from commensal microbes serve as the ligands for the PXR in intestinal epithelium forming an intricate mutualistic interaction between host and microbiota. PXR-regulated gene responses are controlled at epigenetic level by chromatin modifications, DNA methylation and noncoding RNA. Developmental alterations of the epigenome by exposure to the xenobiotics or diseases may produce persistent changes in PXR-regulated physiological responses. These new areas of research promise to vastly increase our understanding of PXR-regulated responses. In this review we highlight recent results on the epigenetic mechanisms for the PXR-regulated gene expression and discuss the physiological significance of these findings.

published proceedings

  • J Cell Physiol

altmetric score

  • 1.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, X. i., Chen, J., & Tian, Y.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Ma, Xi||Chen, Jingshu||Tian, Yanan

publication date

  • April 2015