Mechanism of Signal Transduction by the basic Helix-Loop-Helix Dioxin Receptor

  • Lorenz Poellinger
Part of the Progress in Gene Expression book series (PRGE)


Dioxins (most notably 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, TCDD, Figure 6.1) and related halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g. poly-chlorinated biphenyls and dibenzofurans) are a class of man-made pollutants which are ubiquitously present in the environment. They are of no commercial use but are formed as unwanted by-products during the production of certain herbicides, defoliants (e.g. Agent Orange) and insecticides. In addition, incomplete combustion of organic halogenated compounds in municipal and industrial incinerators is also a well-documented source of these compounds. Strikingly, dioxins have a biological half-life in humans of the order of a decade, and, due to their pronounced biological and chemical stability, they have become widespread environmental contaminants which can be expected to accumulate within the food chain and persist throughout the ecosystem in the future (Safe, 1990; Gallo et al, 1991).


Glucocorticoid Receptor bHLH Domain bHLH Factor Xenobiotic Response Element bHLH Motif 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1995

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  • Lorenz Poellinger

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