Proteinase inhibitor 9, an inhibitor of granzyme B-mediated apoptosis, is a primary estrogen-inducible gene in human liver cells

Hiroshi Kanamori, Sacha Krieg, Chengjian Mao, Vincent A. Di Pippo, Stanley Wang, Deborah A. Zajchowski, David J. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although liver is an estrogen target tissue, the number of hepatic genes known to be directly induced by estrogen is very small. We identified proteinase inhibitor 9, or PI-9, as being rapidly and strongly induced by estrogen in an estrogen receptor-positive human liver cell line (HepG2-ER7). Since PI-9 mRNA was also induced by estrogen in a human liver biopsy sample, PI-9 is a genuine estrogen-regulated human gene. PI-9 is a potent inhibitor of granzyme B and of granzyme B-mediated apoptosis. Estrogens induced PI-9 mRNA within 2 h, PI-9 mRNA levels reached a plateau of 30-40-fold induction in 4 h, and induction was not blocked by cycloheximide, indicating that induction of PI-9 mRNA is a primary response. The antiestrogen trans- hydroxytamoxifen was a partial agonist for PI-9 mRNA induction, whereas the antiestrogen ICI 182,780 was a pure antagonist. Western blot analysis showed that estrogen strongly increases PI-9 protein levels. Inhibition of transcription with actinomycin D resulted in identical rates of PI-9 mRNA decay in the presence and absence of estrogen. We isolated genomic clones containing the PI-9 promoter region, identified a putative transcription start site, and carried out transient transfections of PI-9-luciferase reporter gene constructs. The estrogen, moxestrol, elicited a robust induction from the PI-9-luciferase reporter. Mutational inactivation of three potential imperfect estrogen response elements in the PI-9 5'-flanking region had no effect on moxestrol estrogen receptor induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5867-5873
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 25 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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