TitleLoss of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor increases tumorigenesis in p53-deficient mice.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsPhillips JL, Löhr CV, Nguyen BD, Buermeyer AB, Kolluri SK
JournalToxicol Appl Pharmacol
Date Published2022 Nov 01
KeywordsAnimals, Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors, Carcinogenesis, Cell Transformation, Neoplastic, Ligands, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates cell fate via activation of a diverse set of genes. There are conflicting reports describing the role of AhR in cancer. AhR-knockout mice do not develop tumors spontaneously, yet the AhR can act as a tumor suppressor in certain contexts. Loss of tumor suppression by p53 is common in human cancer. To investigate AhR function in the absence of p53, we generated mice lacking both AhR and p53. Mice deficient for AhR and p53 had shortened lifespan, increased tumorigenesis, and an altered tumor spectrum relative to control mice lacking only p53. In addition, knockout of both AhR and p53 resulted in reduced embryonic survival and neonatal fitness. We also examined the consequences of loss of AhR in p53-heterozygous mice and observed a significantly reduced lifespan and enhanced tumor burden. These findings reveal an important role for the AhR as a tumor suppressor in the absence of p53 signaling and support the development of anti-cancer therapeutics that would promote the tumor suppressive actions of the AhR.

Alternate JournalToxicol Appl Pharmacol
PubMed ID35926564