Regulation of gene expression by the aryl hydrocarbon (AHR) receptor is a much-studied pathway of molecular toxicology. Activation of AHR by the xenobiotic ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is hypothesized as the mechanism by which TCDD exerts its toxic and carcinogenic effects. Paradoxically, some studies have shown that TCDD acts as an antiestrogen. This has led to the hypothesis that so-called selective aryl hydrocarbon receptor modulators (SAhRMs), AHR ligands that retain the antiestrogenic effects but lack the transcriptional effects of TCDD associated with toxicity, may be utilized as cancer chemotherapeutics in conjunction with other antiestrogenic compounds such as tamoxifen. The present study attempts to further define the molecular mechanism of action of the putative SAhRMs, 6-alkyl-1,3,8-trichlorodibenzofuran (6-MCDF), and diindolylmethane (DIM), focusing particularly on the former. We tested 6-MCDF and DIM for the recruitment of AHR and RNA polymerase II (pol II) to the regulatory region of the AHR responsive gene, cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1), using the chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay in the mouse hepatoma cell line Hepa-1c1c7 (Hepa-1). We also tested the level of CYP1A1 induction in Hepa-1 cells using quantitative real-time PCR. We show no difference in the recruitment of AHR or pol II to the regulatory region of CYP1A1 in response to TCDD, 6-MCDF, or co-treatment with both TCDD and 6-MCDF. Our results also show no antagonism of CYP1A1 induction with co-treatment of Hepa-1 cells with TCDD and 6-MCDF. These data suggest that 6-MCDF exhibits agonist activity with respect to induction of CYP1A1 in the Hepa-1 cell line.
- Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
- Chromatin immunoprecipitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas