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Science. 1992 May 22;256(5060):1193-5.

Identification of the Ah receptor nuclear translocator protein (Arnt) as a component of the DNA binding form of the Ah receptor.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


The Ah (dioxin) receptor binds a number of widely disseminated environmental pollutants, including 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and mediates their carcinogenic effects. The ligand-bound receptor activates Cyp 1a1 gene transcription through interaction with specific DNA sequences, termed xenobiotic responsive elements (XREs). The Ah receptor nuclear translocator protein (Arnt) is required for Ah receptor function. Arnt is now shown to be a structural component of the XRE binding form of the Ah receptor. Furthermore, Arnt and the ligand-binding subunit of the receptor were extracted as a complex from the nuclei of cells treated with ligand. Arnt contains a basic helix-loop-helix motif, which may be responsible for interacting with both the XRE and the ligand-binding subunit.

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