Physicochemical characterization of the nuclear form of Ah receptor from mouse hepatoma cells exposed in culture to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1988 Dec;267(2):811-28. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(88)90091-4.


Molecular properties of nuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor from Hepa-1c1c9 (Hepa-1) cells were assessed by velocity sedimentation on sucrose gradients and by gel permeation chromatography on Sephacryl S-300. Nuclear Ah receptor was obtained by exposing intact cells to [3H]-2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) for 1 h at 37 degrees C in culture followed by extraction of receptor from nuclei with buffers containing 0.5 M KCl. The nuclear Ah receptor was compared to the cytosolic Ah receptor from the same cells. Under conditions of low ionic strength, the Ah receptor from Hepa-1 cytosol sedimented as a single 9.4 +/- 0.63 S binding peak that had a Stokes radius of 7.1 +/- 0.12 nm and an apparent relative molecular mass of 271,000 +/- 16,000. After prolonged (24 h) exposure to high ionic strength (0.5 M KCl), cytosol labeled with [3H]TCDD exhibited two specific binding peaks. The large form of cytosolic Ah receptor seen under high ionic strength conditions sedimented at 9.4 +/- 0.46 S, had a Stokes radius of 6.9 +/- 0.19 nm, and an apparent Mr 267,000 +/- 15,000. The smaller ligand-binding subunit generated by exposing cytosol to 0.5 M KCl sedimented at 4.9 +/- 0.62 S, had a Stokes radius of 5.0 +/- 0.14 nm, and an apparent Mr 104,000 +/- 12,000. Nuclear Ah receptor, analyzed under high ionic strength conditions, sedimented at 6.2 +/- 0.20 S, had a Stokes radius of 6.8 +/- 0.19 nm, and an apparent Mr 176,000 +/- 7000. Nuclear Ah receptor from rat H4IIE hepatoma cells was analyzed and found to have physicochemical characteristics identical to those of nuclear Ah receptor from the mouse Hepa-1 cells. The molecular mass of Hepa-1 nuclear Ah receptor was found to be statistically different from both the Mr approximately 267,000 cytosolic Ah receptor and the Mr approximately 104,000 subunit which were present in cytosol under high ionic strength conditions. Hepa-1 nuclear Ah receptor could not be converted to a smaller ligand-binding subunit by treatment with alkaline phosphatase, ribonuclease, or sulfhydryl-modifying reagents or prolonged exposure to 1.0 M KCl. Cytosolic Ah receptor from Hepa-1 cells was "transformed" by heating at 25 degrees C in vitro into a form with high affinity for DNA-cellulose. The transformed cytosolic Ah receptor, when analyzed under conditions of high ionic strength, sedimented at approximately 6 S, had a Stokes radius of approximately 6.7 nm, and an apparent Mr approximately 167,000.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / analysis*
  • Centrifugation, Density Gradient
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Cytosol / analysis
  • Dioxins / pharmacology*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / analysis*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Molecular Weight
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon
  • Receptors, Drug / analysis*
  • Receptors, Drug / drug effects
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / analysis
  • Temperature
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Dioxins
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid