Development and characterization of polyclonal antibodies against the aryl hydrocarbon receptor protein family (AHR1, AHR2, and AHR repressor) of Atlantic killifish Fundulus heteroclitus.
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and AHR repressor (AHRR) proteins regulate gene expression in response to some halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The Atlantic killifish is a valuable model of the AHR signaling pathway, but antibodies are not available to fully characterize AHR and AHRR proteins. Using bacterially expressed AHRs, we developed specific and sensitive polyclonal antisera against the killifish AHR1, AHR2, and AHRR. In immunoblots, these antibodies recognized full-length killifish AHR and AHRR proteins synthesized in rabbit reticulocyte lysate, proteins expressed in mammalian cells transfected with killifish AHR and AHRR constructs, and AHR proteins in cytosol preparations from killifish tissues. Killifish AHR1 and AHR2 proteins were detected in brain, gill, kidney, heart, liver, and spleen. Antisera specifically precipitated their respective target proteins in immunoprecipitation experiments with in vitro-expressed proteins. Killifish ARNT2 co-precipitated with AHR1 and AHR2. These sensitive, specific, and versatile antibodies will be valuable to researchers investigating AHR signaling and other physiological processes involving AHR and AHRR proteins.