Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Editor's Highlight: Microbial-Derived 1,4-Dihydroxy-2-naphthoic Acid and Related Compounds as Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Agonists/Antagonists: Structure-Activity Relationships and Receptor Modeling.

Authors: Cheng, Yating; Jin, Un-Ho; Davidson, Laurie A; Chapkin, Robert S; Jayaraman, Arul; Tamamis, Phanourios; Orr, Asuka; Allred, Clint; Denison, Michael S; Soshilov, Anatoly; Weaver, Evelyn; Safe, Stephen

Published In Toxicol Sci, (2017 02)

Abstract: 1,4-Dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid (1,4-DHNA) is a bacterial-derived metabolite that binds the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in the gut. The structure-dependent AhR activity of hydroxyl/carboxy-substituted naphthoic acids (NAs) was determined in young adult mouse colonic (YAMC) cells and human Caco2 colon cancer cells using CYP1A1/CYP1B1 mRNAs as Ah-responsive genes. Compounds used in this study include 1,4-, 3,5-, and 3,7-DHNA, 1,4-dimethoxy-2-naphthoic acid (1,4-DMNA), 1- and 4-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid (1-HNA, 4-HNA), 1- and 2-naphthoic acid (1-NA, 2-NA), and 1- and 2-naphthol (1-NOH, 2-NOH). 1,4-DHNA was the most potent compound among hydroxyl/carboxy naphthalene derivatives, and the fold induction response for CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 was similar to that observed for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in YAMC and Caco2 cells. 1- and 4-HNA were less potent than 1,4-DHNA but induced maximal (TCDD-like) response for CYP1B1 (both cell lines) and CYP1A1 (Caco2 cells). With the exception of 1- and 2-NA, all compounds significantly induced Cyp1b1 in YAMC cells and these responses were not observed in AhR-deficient YAMC cells generated using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. In addition, we also observed that 1- and 2-NOH (and 1,4-DHNA) were weak AhR agonists, and 1- and 2-NOH also exhibited partial AhR antagonist activity. Structure-activity relationship studies for CYP1A1 but not CYP1B1 were similar in both cell lines, and CYP1A1 induction required one or both 1,4-dihydroxy substituents and activity was significantly enhanced by the 2-carboxyl group. We also used computational analysis to show that 1,4-DHNA and TCDD share similar interactions within the AhR binding pocket and differ primarily due to the negatively charged group of 1,4-DHNA.

PubMed ID: 27837168 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Caco-2 Cells; Cell Line; Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1/metabolism; Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1/metabolism; Guinea Pigs; Humans; Mice; Models, Theoretical*; Naphthalenes/toxicity; Naphthols/toxicity*; Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins/toxicity; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/agonists*; Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/antagonists & inhibitors*; Structure-Activity Relationship

to Top