Hepatic Ah receptor for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Partial stabilization by molybdate

M. S. Denison, L. M. Vella, A. B. Okey

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48 Scopus citations


In structure and general mode of action, the Ah receptor is very similar to the receptors for steroid hormones. Molybdate previously has been shown to be highly effective at preserving ligand-binding function in steroid receptors during their exposure to elevated temperature or high ionic strength and at stabilizing steroid receptors as high molecular weight oligomeric complexes. Since such stimulation by molybdate can be very useful during characterization and purification of receptors, we tested the effects of molybdate on the Ah receptor to determine if the Ah receptor, like the receptors for steroid hormones, might be stabilized. In hepatic cytosols from C57BL/6N mice and Sprague-Dawley rats, molybdate concentrations up to 30 mM in homogenizing and analysis buffers did not alter the concentration of specific Ah receptor sites detected by binding of [3H]2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. However, inclusion of 20 mM molybdate in the homogenizing buffer did significantly protect unliganded Ah receptor from thermal inactivation at 20 °C and from KCl-induced loss of ligand-binding ability. In accord with previous reports, 20 mM molybdate in homogenizing and analysis buffers greatly increased the concentration of detectable glucocorticoid receptor in rat hepatic cytosol and estrogen receptor in rat uterine cytosol. Exposure to 0.4 M KCl caused the glucocorticoid receptor from rat liver to shift sedimentation from ~8 S to ~4 S and caused a severe loss of specific glucocorticoid binding. Presence of 20 mM molybdate stabilized the glucocorticoid receptor as a single discrete peak sedimentating at ~8 S. In contrast, the Ah receptor from rat liver exposed to 0.4 KCl in the presence of molybdate sedimented as biphasic peaks; one peak (~9.5 S) corresponded to the form of Ah receptor observed at low ionic strength, while the other peak (~5.5 S) corresponded to the form of Ah receptor seen in cytosol treated with 0.4 M KCl in the absence of molybdate. Addition of heparin to hepatic cytosols from mice or rats shifted sedimentation of Ah receptor from ~9.5 S to ~5.5 S. Molybdate, again, provided stabilization in the ~9.5 S form, but only for about one-half the total Ah receptor content in both rat and mouse hepatic cytosols. In sum, molybdate is far less effective at stabilizing rodent Ah receptors than it is at stabilizing steroid receptors in the same species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10189-10195
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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