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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2006 Dec;25(12):3141-7.

Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor by carbaryl: Computational evidence of the ability of carbaryl to assume a planar conformation.

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  • 1Department of Environment, INIA, Ctra. De la Corufia, km. 7, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

It has been accepted that aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligands are compounds with two or more aromatic rings in a coplanar conformation. Although general agreement exists that carbaryl is able to activate the AhR, it has been proposed that such activation could occur through alternative pathways without ligand binding. This idea was supported by studies showing a planar conformation of carbaryl as unlikely. The objective of the present work was to clarify the process of AhR activation by carbaryl. In rat H4IIE cells permanently transfected with a luciferase gene under the indirect control of AhR, incubation with carbaryl led to an increase of luminescence. Ligand binding to the AhR was studied by means of a cell-free in vitro system in which the activation of AhR can occur only by ligand binding. In this system, exposure to carbaryl also led to activation of AhR. These results were similar to those obtained with the AhR model ligand beta-naphthoflavone, although this compound exhibited higher potency than carbaryl in both assays. By means of computational modeling (molecular mechanics and quantum chemical calculations), the structural characteristics and electrostatic properties of carbaryl were described in detail, and it was observed that the substituent at C-1 and the naphthyl ring were not coplanar. Assuming that carbaryl would interact with the AhR through a hydrogen bond, this interaction was studied computationally using hydrogen fluoride as a model H-bond donor. Under this situation, the stabilization energy of the carbaryl molecule would permit it to adopt a planar conformation. These results are in accordance with the mechanism traditionally accepted for AhR activation: Binding of ligands in a planar conformation.

PMID:
17220082
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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