Biliverdin reductase isozymes in metabolism

Luke O'Brien, Peter A. Hosick, Kezia John, David E. Stec, Terry D. Hinds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The biliverdin reductase (BVR) isozymes BVRA and BVRB are cell surface membrane receptors with pleiotropic functions. This review compares, for the first time, the structural and functional differences between the isozymes. They reduce biliverdin, a byproduct of heme catabolism, to bilirubin, display kinase activity, and BVRA, but not BVRB, can act as a transcription factor. The binding motifs present in the BVR isozymes allow a wide range of interactions with components of metabolically important signaling pathways such as the insulin receptor kinase cascades, protein kinases (PKs), and inflammatory mediators. In addition, serum bilirubin levels have been negatively associated with abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia. We discuss the roles of the BVR isozymes in metabolism and their potential as therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PRIDE grant (HL106365) (T.D.H.), grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [K01HL-125445 (T.D.H.), PO1HL-051971, HL088421 (D.E.S.), and 1T32HL105324 (P.A.H)], and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (P20GM-104357).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • BVRA
  • BVRB
  • Bilirubin
  • Biliverdin reductase
  • Diabetes
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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