Transcriptional activation by the mouse Ah receptor. Interplay between multiple stimulatory and inhibitory functions
Ma, Q.; Dong, L.; Whitlock, J.P.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 270(21): 12697-12703
The aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that mediates cellular responses to the environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). We cloned AhR cDNA from C57BL/6 mouse liver and verified by transfection that it encodes a functional protein. Analyses of deletion mutants indicate that the carboxyl half of AhR contains several types of transactivation domain, which function independently of domains that mediate TCDD recognition, DNA binding, and heterodimerization with the Ah receptor nuclear translocator (Arnt) protein. The transactivation domains function independently of each other, display different levels of activity, and act synergistically when linked. In addition, AhR contains an 82-amino acid domain that inhibits transactivation. The inhibitory domain displays specificity, in that it blocks the transactivating functions of AhR and Arnt, but not that of the herpes simplex protein VP16. The inhibitory activity depends upon the cell type in which AhR is expressed, implying that a cell-specific protein mediates the effect.