The aryl hydrocarbon receptor 2 potentially mediates cytochrome P450 1A induction in the jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos).


Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


To understand the role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) isoforms in avian species, we investigated the functional characteristics of two AHR isoforms (designated as jcAHR1 and jcAHR2) of the jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos). Two amino acid residues corresponding to Ile324 and Ser380 (high sensitive type) in chicken AHR1 that are known to determine dioxin sensitivity were Ile325 and Ala381 (moderate sensitive type) in jcAHR1 and Val306 and Ala362 (low sensitive type) in jcAHR2. The quantitative comparison of the two jcAHR mRNA expression levels in a Tokyo jungle crow population showed that jcAHR2 accounted for 92.4% in the liver, while jcAHR1 accounted for only 7.6%. Both in vitro-expressed jcAHR1 and jcAHR2 proteins exhibited a specific binding to [3H]-labeled 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Transactivation potencies for jcAHR1 and jcAHR2 in in vitro reporter gene assays were measured in jcAHR-expressed cells exposed to 16 dioxins and related compounds (DRCs). Both jcAHR1 and jcAHR2 were activated in a congener- and an isoform-specific manner. EC50 value of TCDD for jcAHR2 (0.61 nM) was six-fold higher than that for jcAHR1 (0.098 nM), but jcAHR2 had higher transactivation efficacy than jcAHR1 in terms of the magnitude of response. The high transactivation efficacy of jcAHR2 in DRCs is in contrast to that of AHR2s in other avian species with low transactivation efficacy. Molecular docking simulations of TCDD with in silico jcAHR1 and jcAHR2 homology models showed that the two sensitivity-decisive amino acids indirectly controlled TCDD-binding modes through their surrounding amino acids. Deletion assays of jcAHR2 revealed that 736-805 amino acid residues in the C-terminal region were critical for its transactivation. We suggest that jcAHR2 plays a critical role in regulating the AHR signaling pathway, at least in its highly expressed organs.


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD),AHR isoforms,Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR),Chicken,Jungle crow,

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