The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), also known as the dioxin receptor, is a ligand-activated helix/loop/helix transcription factor found in a variety of vertebrate species. The known ligands for AhR are foreign planar aromatic compounds, such as polycyclic aromatic compounds and halogenated aromatic compounds such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Unlike the steroid/thyroid hormone receptors, there is no known physiological ligand for the Ah Receptor.
Studies indicate that in non-ligand activated cells, AhR is found complexed with HSP90 predominantly in the cytoplasm. Upon binding to an agonist, the ligand-activated AhR is believed to transform to a nuclear, DNA binding form. This transformation process appears to involve dissociation of HSP90 from AhR followed by formation of a heterodimer with AhR nuclear translocator protein (Arnt). The AhR-ligand complex appears to initiate gene transcription of cytochrome P450 1A1.
Ah receptor; AH-receptor; AHR; aromatic hydrocarbon receptor; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; BHLHE76; Class E basic helix-loop-helix protein 76; dioxin receptor
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