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Foods 2016, 5(1), 15; doi:10.3390/foods5010015

Detection of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation by Some Chemicals in Food Using a Reporter Gene Assay

1
College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Matsuyama University, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8578, Japan
2
Division of Foods, National Institute of Health Sciences, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan
3
Hiyoshi Corporation, Omihachiman, Shiga 523-8555, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrea Buettner
Received: 20 November 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1385 KB, uploaded 25 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether a simple bioassay used for the detection of dioxins (DXNs) could be applied to detect trace amounts of harmful DXN-like substances in food products. To identify substances with possible DXN-like activity, we assessed the ability of various compounds in the environment to bind the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) that binds specifically to DXNs. The compounds tested included 19 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 20 PAH derivatives (nitrated, halogenated, and aminated derivatives), 23 pesticides, six amino acids, and eight amino acid metabolites. The AhR binding activities (AhR activity) of these compounds were measured using the chemical activated luciferase gene expression (CALUX) reporter gene assay system. The majority of the PAHs exhibited marked AhR activity that increased in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, there was a positive link between AhR activity and the number of aromatic rings in the PAH derivatives. Conversely, there appeared to be a negative correlation between AhR activity and the number of chlorine residues present on halogenated PAH derivatives. However, there was no correlation between AhR activity and the number and position of substituents among nitrated and aminated derivatives. Among the pesticides tested, the indole-type compounds carbendazim and thiabendazole showed high levels of activity. Similarly, the indole compound tryptamine was the only amino acid metabolite to induce AhR activity. The results are useful in understanding the identification and characterization of AhR ligands in the CALUX assay. View Full-Text
Keywords: aryl hydrocarbon receptor; reporter gene assay; food hygiene; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; pesticide; amino acid aryl hydrocarbon receptor; reporter gene assay; food hygiene; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; pesticide; amino acid
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Amakura, Y.; Tsutsumi, T.; Yoshimura, M.; Nakamura, M.; Handa, H.; Matsuda, R.; Teshima, R.; Watanabe, T. Detection of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation by Some Chemicals in Food Using a Reporter Gene Assay. Foods 2016, 5, 15.

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