Structure and function of the Ah receptor for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Species difference in molecular properties of the receptors from mouse and rat hepatic cytosols

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

150 Scopus citations


Molecular properties of cytosolic Ah receptors from livers of Sprague-Dawley rats and C57BL/6N mice were assessed by velocity sedimentation on sucrose gradients and by gel permeation chromatography on Sephacryl S-300. Analyses were done under conditions of both moderate ionic strength (presence of 0.1 M KCl) and high ionic strength (0.4 M KCl). [3H]2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was used as the radioligand. In conditions of moderate ionic strength the receptor from Sprague-Dawley rat liver sedimented at 88 ± 0.05 S, had a Stokes radius of 7.0 ± 0.21 nm, and an apparent relative molecular mass (M(r)) of 257,000 ± 7,700. In conditions of high ionic strength the Ah receptor from rat hepatic cytosol dissociated to a [3H]TCDD-binding subunit which sedimented at 5.6 ± 0.58 S, had a Stokes radius of 5.2 ± 0.24 nm, and an apparent M(r) of 121,000 ± 5,600. The Ah receptor from liver of C57BL/6N mice, in moderate ionic strength conditions, sedimented at 9.4 ± 0.54 S, had a Stokes radius of 7.1 ± 0.12 nm, and an apparent M(r) of 277,000 ± 4,800. Whereas the Ah receptor from rat liver readily dissociated into a [3H]TCDD-binding subunit during brief exposure to 0.4 M KCl, the mouse Ah receptor resisted dissociation. When exposed to 0.4 M KCl for 2 h, the mouse Ah receptor remained at the same molecular size that it had exhibited in moderate ionic strength conditions. Prolonged exposure (16 h) to 0.4 M KCl prior to analysis partially converted the mouse Ah receptor into a smaller [3H]TCDD-binding subunit which sedimented at 4.9 ± 0.07 S, had a Stokes radius of 5.2 ± 0.19 nm, and an apparent M(r) of 105,000 ± 3,800. The potency of seven different Ah receptor agonists in competing with [3H]TCDD for specific receptor sites was slightly different in mouse cytosol than in rat cytosol. By criteria of size, response to high ionic strength environments, and ligand binding preferences the mouse and rat Ah receptors appear to be similar but not identical molecular species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3987-3995
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this