Leachate from rubber tire material contains a complex mixture of chemicals previously shown to produce toxic and biological effects in aquatic organisms. The ability of these leachates to induce Ah receptor (AhR)-dependent cytochrome P4501A1 expression in fish indicated the presence of AhR active chemicals, but the responsible chemicals and their direct interaction with the AhR signaling pathway were not examined. Using a combination of AhR-based bioassays, we have demonstrated the ability of tire extract to stimulate both AhR DNA binding and AhR-dependent gene expression and confirmed that the responsible chemicals were metabolically labile. The application of CALUX (chemical-activated luciferase gene expression) cell bioassay-driven toxicant identification evaluation not only revealed that tire extract contained a variety of known AhR-active polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons but also identified 2-methylthiobenzothiazole and 2-mercaptobenzothiazole as AhR agonists. Analysis of a structurally diverse series of benzothiazoles identified many that could directly stimulate AhR DNA binding and transiently activate the AhR signaling pathway and identified benzothiazoles as a new class of AhR agonists. In addition to these compounds, the relatively high AhR agonist activity of a large number of fractions strongly suggests that tire extract contains a large number of physiochemically diverse AhR agonists whose identities and toxicological/biological significances are unknown.
- Ah receptor
- Toxicant identification evaluation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Environmental Chemistry