The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) was originally identified as a ligand-activated transcription factor that is involved in the induction of xenobiotic-metabolizing Cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1). For several decades, AhR has been studied in relation to toxicology and pharmacology. With recent discoveries on novel AhR functions, AhR research has expanded into multiple aspects of physiology, such as reproduction, innate immunity and tumor suppression. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent progress in mechanistic and functional studies on AhR with particular emphasis on physiological processes.
(Communicated by Takao SEKIYA, M.J.A.)
2010 The Japan Academy