Inhibition of the MEK-1/p42 MAP kinase reduces aryl hydrocarbon receptor-DNA interactions

Sujin Yim, Myoungsuk Oh, Su Mi Choi, Hyunsung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) induces expression of the cytochrome P450 1A1 gene, cyp1a1, by binding to its receptor, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). TCDD-bound AhR translocates to the nucleus and forms a heterodimer with its partner protein, AhR nuclear translocator (Arnt). The AhR/Arnt heterodimer then binds to the dioxin-response elements (DREs) in the cyp1a1 enhancer and stimulates transcription of cyp1a1. We tested whether kinase pathways are involved in this process by treating Hepa1c1c7 cells with kinase inhibitors. The MEK-1 inhibitor PD98059 reduced TCDD-induced transcription of cyp1a1. TCDD treatment results in phosphorylation of p44/p42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), a substrate of MEK-1. Overexpression of dominant negative form of p42 MAPK suppressed TCDD-dependent transcription of a reporter gene controlled by dioxin-response elements (DREs), and pretreatment with PD98059 also blocked this transcription. PD98059 pretreatment also inhibited TCDD-induced DRE binding of the AhR/Arnt heterodimer. Together these results indicate that TCDD activates the MEK-1/p44/p42 MAPK pathway, which in turn activates AhR and so facilitates binding of AhR to the cyp1a1 DRE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 10 2004


  • AhR
  • Arnt
  • CYP1A1
  • Dioxin
  • MAP Kinase
  • PD98059

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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