Wayne State University

Thomas Kocarek, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Professor
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
(313) 577-6580 (Phone)
(313) 577-0082 (Fax)
t.kocarek@wayne.edu

Profile Picture for Thomas Kocarek, Ph.D.
Research Interests

Cytochrome P450 gene expression;
� Sterol metabolism;
� Hepatocyte biology.

The enzymes of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of hemoprotein monooxygenases are responsible for the oxidative metabolism of a diverse assortment of substrates, both endogenous and xenobiotic. P450s are most abundant in the liver, particularly the hepatocyte, where the amount of each P450 is controlled by a complex combination of intracellular and extracellular signals. A remarkable property of many P450s is inducibility, whereby the presence of a chemical "inducer," frequently a xenobiotic, evokes an increase in the amount of one or more P450s, which often, but not always, metabolize the inducer. In many cases, little is known about the steps that occur between entry of an inducer into the hepatocyte and accumulation of a P450 gene product.

Emerging evidence suggests that certain of the xenobiotic-inducible P450s are regulated by the same processes that control metabolism of a cell's own endogenous lipophilic chemicals. The focus of Dr. Kocarek's research is to understand the linkage between hepatocellular sterol metabolism and P450 expression, particularly P450s of the CYP2B, CYP3A and CYP4A subfamilies. This research will lead to greater understanding of the mechanisms whereby the hepatocyte recognizes, responds to, and metabolizes foreign chemicals.

Selected Publications

Duniec-Dmuchowski Z, Ellis E, Strom SC and Kocarek TA. Regulation of CYP3A4 and CYP2B6 Expression by Liver X Receptor Agonists. Biochem Pharmacol 74:1535-1540, 2007. PMID: 17825266

Jackson NM and Kocarek TA. Suppression of CYP2B induction by alendronate-mediated farnesyl diphosphate synthase inhibition in primary cultured rat hepatocytes. Drug Metab Dispos 36:2030-2036, 2008. PMID: 18617600

Kocarek TA, Duanmu Z, Fang HL and Runge-Morris M. Age- and sex-dependent expression of multiple murine hepatic hydroxysteroid sulfotransferase (SULT2A) genes. Biochem Pharmacol 76:1036-1046, 2008. PMID: 18725207

Duniec-Dmuchowski Z, Fang HL, Strom SC, Ellis E, Runge-Morris M and Kocarek TA. Human pregnane X receptor activation and CYP3A4/CYP2B6 induction by 2,3-oxidosqualene:lanosterol cyclase inhibition. Drug Metab Dispos 37:900-908, 2009. PMID: 19158313

Cook IT, Duniec-Dmuchowski Z, Kocarek TA, Runge-Morris and Falany CN. 24-Hydroxycholesterol sulfation by human cytosolic sulfotransferase: Formation of monosulfates and disulfates, molecular modeling, sulfatase sensitivity, and inhibition of liver X receptor activation. Drug Metab Dispos 37:2069-2078, 2009. PMID: 19589875

Runge-Morris M and Kocarek TA. Regulation of sulfotransferase and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase expression by the PPARs. PPAR Res 2009:728941, 2009. PMID: 19680455