Author(s): Davarinos NA, Pollenz RS
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Abstract The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that dimerizes with the AHR nuclear translocator protein to mediate gene regulation. However, the AHR protein is rapidly depleted in vitro and in vivo following exposure to ligands. The purpose of the studies in this report was to characterize the mechanism of AHR degradation and determine the consequence of blocking the degradation process. Western blot and immunological analysis of rat smooth muscle (A7), murine Hepa-1, and human HepG2 cells show that ligand-induced degradation of AHR is blocked when the proteasome is inhibited by MG-132. AHR degradation is also blocked in Hepa-1 and HepG2 cells when nuclear export is inhibited with leptomycin B. Mutation of a putative nuclear export signal present in the AHR results in the accumulation of AHR in the nucleus and reduced levels of degradation following ligand exposure. In addition, inhibition of AHR degradation results in an increase in the concentration of AHR.AHR nuclear translocator complexes associated with DNA and extends the duration that the complex resides in the nucleus. These findings show that nuclear export and degradation of the AHR protein are two additional steps in the AHR-mediated signal transduction pathway and suggest novel areas for regulatory control.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access