Cytochrome P450 CYP2 genes in the common cormorant: Evolutionary relationships with 130 diapsid CYP2 clan sequences and chemical effects on their expression. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cytochrome P450 CYP2 family enzymes are important in a variety of physiological and toxicological processes. CYP2 genes are highly diverse and orthologous relationships remain clouded among CYP2s in different taxa. Sequence and expression analyses of CYP2 genes in diapsids including birds and reptiles may improve understanding of this CYP family. We sought CYP2 genes in a liver cDNA library of the common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), and in the genomes of other diapsids, chicken (Gallus gallus), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis), for phylogenetic and/or syntenic analyses. Screening of the cDNA library yielded four CYP2 cDNA clones that were phylogenetically classified as CYP2C45, CYP2J25, CYP2AC1, and CYP2AF1. There are numerous newly identified diapsid CYP2 genes that include genes related to the human CYP2Cs, CYP2D6, CYP2G2P, CYP2J2, CYP2R1, CYP2U1, CYP2W1, CYP2AB1P, and CYP2AC1P. Syntenic relationships show that avian CYP2Hs are orthologous to CYP2C62P in humans, CYP2C23 in rats, and Cyp2c44 in mice, and suggest that avian CYP2Hs, along with human CYP2C62P and mouse Cyp2c44, could be renamed as CYP2C23, based upon the nomenclature rules. Analysis of sequence and synteny identifies cormorant and finch CYPs that are apparent orthologs of phenobarbital-inducible chicken CYP2C45. Transcripts of all four cormorant CYP2 genes were detected in the liver of birds from Lake Biwa, Japan. The transcript levels bore no significant relationship to levels of chlorinated organic pollutants in the liver, including polychlorinated biphenyls and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites. In contrast, concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorononanoic acid were negatively correlated with levels of CYP2C45 and/or CYP2J25, suggesting down-regulation of expression by these environmental pollutants. This study expands our view of the phylogeny and evolution of CYP2s, and provides evolutionary insight into the chemical regulation of CYP2 gene expression in diapsids including birds.

publication date

  • April 2011