Identification of the Ah Receptor Nuclear Translocator Protein (Arnt) as a Component of the DNA Binding Form of the Ah Receptor

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Science  22 May 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5060, pp. 1193-1195
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5060.1193


The Ah (dioxin) receptor binds a number of widely disseminated environmental pollutants, including 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and mediates their carcinogenic effects. The ligand-bound receptor activates Cyp1a1 gene transcription through interaction with specific DNA sequences, termed xenobiotic responsive elements (XREs). The Ah receptor nuclear translocator protein (Arnt) is required for Ah receptor function. Arnt is now shown to be a structural component of the XRE binding form of the Ah receptor. Furthermore, Arnt and the ligand-binding subunit of the receptor were extracted as a complex from the nuclei of cells treated with ligand. Arnt contains a basic helix-loop-helix motif, which may be responsible for interacting with both the XRE and the ligand-binding subunit.

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