The expression and function of some xenobiotic transporters vary according to the time of the day, causing the dosing timedependent changes in drug disposition and toxicity. P-glycoprotein (P-gp), encoded by the ABCB1 gene, is highly expressed in the kidneys and functions in the renal elimination of various drugs. The elimination of several P-gp substrates was demonstrated to vary depending on administration time, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We found that adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR1) was involved in the circadian regulation of P-gp expression in human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (RPTECs). After synchronization of the cellular circadian clock by dexamethasone treatment, the expression of P-gp exhibited a significant 24-h oscillation in RPTECs, but this oscillation was disrupted by the downregulation of ADAR1. Although ADAR1 catalyzes adenosine-toinosine (A-to-I) RNA editing in double-stranded RNA substrates, no significant ADAR1-regulated editing sites were detected in the human ABCB1 transcripts in RPTECs. On the other hand, downregulation of ADAR1 induced alternative splicing in intron 27 of the human ABCB1 gene, resulting in the production of retained intron transcripts. The aberrant spliced transcript was sensitive to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, leading to the decreased stability of ABCB1 mRNA and prevention of the 24-h oscillation of P-gp expression. These findings support the notion that ADAR1-mediated regulation of alternative splicing of the ABCB1 gene is a key mechanism of circadian expression of P-gp in RPTECs, and the regulatory mechanism may underlie the dosing time-dependent variations in the renal elimination of P-gp substrates.
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