Agonistic and antagonistic effects of α-naphthoflavone on dioxin receptor function. Role of the basic region helix-loop-helix dioxin receptor partner factor Arnt

A. Wilhelmsson, M. L. Whitelaw, J. A. Gustafsson, L. Poellinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dioxin receptor is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that binds to target DNA sequences (xenobiotic responsive elements, XREs) following ligand-dependent dimerization with its partner factor, Arnt (aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator). Both factors contain an N-terminal basic region helix-loop-helix motif mediating dimerization and subsequent DNA binding. In this study we investigate the possible role of Arnt in agonistic and antagonistic effects of the dioxin receptor ligand α-naphthoflavone (ANF). Using specific antisera for the ligand binding dioxin receptor and Arnt, respectively, we show that exposure of the dioxin receptor to ANF in vitro induced recruitment of Arnt, thus stimulating binding of the heteromeric complex to XRE. In transient transfection assays, ANF at high concentrations stimulated expression of an XRE-driven reporter gene. This agonistic effect of ANF is, therefore, most likely attributable to ANF stimulation of dioxin receptor-Arnt heterodimerization and subsequent binding of the complex to XRE. Using a minimal XRE-driven reporter gene construct, we could further confirm earlier studies showing that ANF antagonizes the effect of a dioxin receptor agonist, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Next we employed chimeric receptor constructs containing amino acids 1-500 of the human glucocorticoid receptor fused to dioxin receptor fragments lacking the very N-terminal basic region helix-loop-helix dimerization and DNA binding motif. These chimeric receptor constructs show dioxin responsiveness upon transient transfection into mutant Ami-deficient hepatoma cells and are, thus, functionally uncoupled from Arnt. Importantly, dioxin-dependent activation of the chimeric receptors was inhibited in the presence of ANF, demonstrating that dimerization of dioxin receptor with Arnt was not necessary for manifestation of the antagonistic effect of ANF. Rather, dioxin receptor sequences, which confer dioxin regulation upon a heterologous DNA binding and transactivating domain, also mediated the antagonistic effects of ANF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19028-19033
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume269
Issue number29
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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