AhR Reporter Cell Lines

Ahr genomic signaling

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-dependent transcriptional factor expressed by many cell types, particularly in barrier tissues, such as the gastro-intestinal tract.

AhR sensing of environmental pollutants and dietary-derived compounds contributes to the intestinal homeostasis between the host and gut microbiota.

AhR canonical genomic signaling has been extensively reviewed [1,2]. Briefly, in the absence of ligands, AhR resides in the cytoplasm within a Hsp90:XAP2:p23:Src chaperone protein complex. Upon ligand binding, the complex translocates into the nucleus, the chaperones are released, and AhR heterodimerizes with AhR nuclear translocator (ARNT). The AhR:ligand:ARNT trimer binds to dioxin response elements (DREs) in the upstream regulatory regions of AhR target genes, which include the cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase Cyp1a1, the AhR repressor (AhRR), and the IL-22 interleukin.

Of note, non-canonical AhR signaling pathways have also been reported, either at the genomic level through association with other transcription factors (e.g. NF-κB), or at the non-genomic level (e.g. through the release of the Src kinase) [2,3].


InvivoGen provides two AhR reporter cell lines allowing the study of AhR canonical genomic signaling upon incubation with a wide range of agonists such as xenobiotics, synthetic dietary-derived indole products, or endogenous AhR agonists from human samples.


  • HT29-Lucia™ AhR Cells are engineered from the human HT29 colon carcinoma and are highly relevant for studying intestinal microbiota-related ligands for AhR.
  • HepG2-Lucia™ AhR Cells are engineered from the human HepG2 hepatoma and are particularly suitable for the detection/screening of AhR ligands in food or environmental samples.


More InformationRead our review on AhR’s key role in the intestinal microbiota and immunity



1. Stockinger B. et al., 2014. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor: multitasking in the immune system. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 32:403-32.
2. Lamas B. et al., 2018. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor and intestinal immunity. Mucosal Immunol. 11(4):1024-38.
3. Gutiérrez-Vasquez C. et al., 2018. Regulation of the immune response by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Immunity. 48:19-33.

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