Special Issue "Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in Biology and Toxicology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018)
Prof. Dr. Charlotte Esser
IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Auf'm Hennekamp 50, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
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Interests: aryl hydrocarbon receptor; gut mucosal immunology; skin barrier; immunology; microbiome; T cells (especially gamma-delta T cells); immunotoxicology of ambient dioxin-like substances
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor, which will translocate to the nucleus and initiate transcription on many target genes once suitable ligands are bound. AHR is of increasing interest in many areas of biology and medicine. Its rather chemical name points to its first discovered function in xenobiotic metabolism, and the AHR-dependent toxicity of various aryls, especially dioxins and dioxin-like compounds. Recent years have identified many endogenous and dietary ligands, which are a far cry from such environmental pollutants. Moreover, evolution seems to have shaped differential AHR-responses for certain ligand classes in humans.
AHR targets many physiological processes, directly and indirectly. It was found to be involved in the differentiation and function of adaptive and innate immune cells. It is important for wound healing, cancer evasion, kidney functions, macula degeneration, the commensal microbiome, aging, sensing of light/UV irradiation in the skin, possibly depression, and many more. This breadth is both exciting and vexing; we can expect more to come. At the same time, in the light of these new findings, more research is needed, which looks at the toxicity of AHR-ligands in heavily polluted areas or in newly developing pollution situations like e-waste reclamation.
Finally, the vast area of how to harness AHR-ligands therapeutically drew many new research groups and industrial stakeholders into the field. On the biochemical side, advances are made to dissect the structure-activity relationship of ligand-bound AHR at the promoter. This information is critical for moving forward the development of therapeutic ligands and to improve screening approaches or a mere “trial-and-error” approaches.
In this Special Issue of IJMS, we want to offer a platform for high-quality publications on these various aspects of AHR-research. Bringing together different aspects in one issue, hopefully, will trigger synergy and be of interest for non-AHR researchers as well.
Prof. Dr. Charlotte Esser
Manuscript Submission Information
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AHR in Immunology
AHR in Cancer Research
Biochemistry of AHR and AHR-signaling
AHR-involvement in diseases
AHR and metabolism
Epidemiology of AHR-ligand exposure
AHR-ligands in therapy and prevention
Adverse outcome pathways and AHR