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Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an important transcriptional regulator of drug metabolizing enzymes that dominantly controls the expression of cytochrome P450 CYP1 family genes and some phase II enzymes. AhR also has many endogenous functions including cell cycle control, immune response, and cell differentiation. In addition, AhR is well-known to be involved in chemicallyinduced carcinogenesis. AhR is activated by a variety of endogenous and exogenous ligands. While exogenous activation of AhR has deleterious effects on human organism, sustained activation of AhR by endogenous ligands is indispensable for proper cell functions. Therefore, the effects of exogenous and endogenous ligands on AhR resemble the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. The aim of the current paper is to summarize and update the knowledge on exogenous and endogenous AhR ligands.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Heyrovskeho 1203, Hradec Kralove 50005, Czech Republic. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Current drug metabolism
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is the receptor for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and other exogenous compounds. In human sebocytes, TCDD and BaP were found to a...
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Aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator is a basic HELIX-LOOP-HELIX MOTIF containing protein that forms a complex with DIOXIN RECEPTOR. The complex binds xenobiotic regulatory elements and activates transcription of a variety of genes including UDP GLUCURONOSYLTRANSFERASE. AhR nuclear translocator is also a subunit of HYPOXIA-INDUCIBLE FACTOR 1.
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Cytoplasmic proteins that bind certain aryl hydrocarbons, translocate to the nucleus, and activate transcription of particular DNA segments. AH receptors are identified by their high-affinity binding to several carcinogenic or teratogenic environmental chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in cigarette smoke and smog, heterocyclic amines found in cooked foods, and halogenated hydrocarbons including dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls. No endogenous ligand has been identified, but an unknown natural messenger with a role in cell differentiation and development is suspected.
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