Repression of heme oxygenase-1 expression as a defense strategy in humans

Shigeki Shibahara, Masaharu Nakayama, Tomomi Kitamuro, Reiko Udono-Fujimori, Kazuhiro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an essential enzyme in heme catabolism and is characterized by its inducibility in response to various environmental factors, including its substrate heme. The induction of HO-1 has been established as the defense mechanism against oxidative stress. However, striking inter-species or inter-tissue differences are noted in the regulation of HO-1 expression under hypoxia or heat shock, each of which represses HO-1 expression in many types of human cells but rather induces it in rodent cells. The downregulation of HO-1 expression may reduce energy expenditure and local production of carbon monoxide, iron, and bilirubin and transiently increase intracellular heme pool. Here, we discuss the repression of HO-1 expression as a potential defense strategy in humans by highlighting a regulatory role of HO-1 in its own expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-473
Number of pages2
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May


  • Gene deletion
  • Inflammation
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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