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J Biol Chem. 1997 Nov 21;272(47):29614-9.

Down-regulation of major histocompatibility complex Q1b gene expression by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5332, USA.


We analyzed mouse hepatoma cells using differential display to discover new genes that respond to the environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). We identified a class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene, which we designated as MHC Q1b, whose expression decreases in the presence of TCDD. TCDD-induced down-regulation of MHC Q1b requires both the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor and the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator, transcription factors that up-regulate other genes in response to TCDD. Down-regulation of MHC Q1b by TCDD appears to involve both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory events; the post-transcriptional destabilization of MHC Q1b mRNA is probably a secondary response to TCDD. Our findings reveal new mechanistic aspects of gene regulation by TCDD. In addition, our observations suggest a mechanism that might account for some of TCDD's immunotoxic effects.

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