A comparison of the mouse versus human aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor complex: Effects of proteolysis

X. Wang, M. Santostefano, Y. Lu, S. Safe

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4 Scopus citations


The differences in the molecular properties of the nuclear aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor from human Hep G2 and mouse Hepa 1c1c7 cells were investigated by time-dependent partial proteolysis with chymotrypsin or trypsin followed by column chromatographic and velocity sedimentation analysis. The sedimentation coefficients, Stokes radii and apparent molecular weights of the untreated human and mouse Ah receptor complexes were similar. Treatment of the nuclear Ah receptor complexes from both cell lines with chymotrypsin for 10 or 60 min gave lower molecular weight proteolytic products which also exhibited comparable molecular properties and salt gradient elution profiles from Sepharose columns linked to DNA. Treatment of the human and mouse nuclear Ah receptor complexes with trypsin (5 μg/mg protein) for 10 or 60 min gave a minor low molecular weight (29.7- or 25.7-kDa) proteolysis product which was detected only with the mouse Hepa 1c1c7 Ah receptor complex. The time- and concentration-dependent proteolytic digest maps of the human and mouse Ah receptor were determined using receptor preparations which were photoaffinity labeled with [125I]7-iodo-2, 3-dibromodibenzo-p-dioxin. The human Ah receptor was significantly more resistant to proteolysis by trypsin or chymotrypsin than the mouse Ah receptor. At a low concentration of chymotrypsin (1 μg/mg protein) the Hepa 1c1c7 receptor was degraded to two lower molecular weight fragments with apparent Mr values at 71- and 48-kDa whereas the Hep G2 Ah receptor was relatively stable under these conditions. Although the human Ah receptor was more slowly hydrolyzed than the mouse receptor by trypsin, the major photolabeled breakdown products for the Ah receptor from both cell lines were observed at Mr 48- and 45-kDa. The results of this study demonstrate that there were subtle but significant differences in the human and mouse Ah receptor complex; however, the proteolysis studies suggest that there are common structural features in their ligand binding sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 30 1992


  • Differences
  • Human and mouse Ah receptor
  • Proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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