β-Naphthoflavone (β-NF) is a widely used inducer of phase-I and phase-II enzymes controlled by aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Studies of competitive binding with 3H-labelled 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) have shown that β-NF is a high-affinity ligand for AhR and also for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-binding protein, both soluble proteins of rat liver in 8 S and 4 S fractions, respectively, of sucrose gradients. This study examined binding of [3H]β-NF to liver cytosolic proteins of female Sprague-Dawley rats. Treatment of rats with β-NF, 3-MC, TCDD or α-naphthoflavone (α-NF) increased the specific [3H]β-NF binding to liver cytosol up to 125-fold that of vehicle (corn oil)-treated rats (< 100 fmol/mg of protein). Sucrose gradients revealed a large 4 S and a small 8 S peak of radioactivity from [3H]β-NF binding to cytosols of β-NF-, 3-MC-, TCDD- or α-NF-treated rats. Whereas co-incubation with the unlabelled β-NF eliminated both peaks, co-incubation with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) eliminated only the 8 S peak. The sucrose density gradient from [3H]TCDD binding to cytosol of β-NF- or TCDD-treated rats yielded a small 4 S and a larger 8 S peak; only the latter was abolished by co-incubation with TCDF. Thus, the patterns of sedimentation, distribution and elimination of radioactivity from the 8 S fraction of the liver cytosols from β-NF-, 3-MC-, TCDD- or α-NF-treated rats were characteristic for the AhR, whereas those from the 4 S fraction appeared specific for [3H]β-NF binding. The data indicate that potent AhR agonists, TCDD, 3-MC and β-NF, and to a lesser extent α-NF, a weak AhR agonist, induce a 4 S [3H]β-NF-binding protein in liver cytosol of female rats. α-NF, β-NF and 3-MC were effective competitors (80-85% inhibition) of the [3H]β-NF-specific binding to the β-NF-, 3 MC- or TCDD-induced 4 S protein, whereas several PAHs including B[a]P and benzo[e]pyrene were only weak competitors. The increased [3H]β-NF binding was not associated with glycine N-methyltransferase activity. Hence, the 4 S [3H]β-NF-binding protein described herein differs from the constitutive 4 S PAH-binding protein of rat liver cytosols in the inducibility by β-NF and 3-MC, ligand-binding characteristics, and lack of glycine N-methyltransferase activity. Gel filtration on Sephacryl of liver cytosols from β-NF-treated rats indicated a molecular mass of ≈ 42 kDa for [3H]β-NF-bound protein and suggested that it was derived from a large mass component that before the radioligand binding was eluted with the void volume of the gel and sedimented in a 7 S fraction of the sucrose gradient. The [3H]β-NF binding activity was not eluted with glutathione S-transferase Ya, aldehyde-3-dehydrogenase or DT-diaphorase [NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase] activities, which are AhR-controlled and β-NF-inducible. Further studies are needed to determine the identity and function of this novel protein which may be involved either directly or indirectly (as a carrier protein) in xenobiotic metabolism in vivo.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.