Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that binds to structurally diverse synthetic and naturally occurring chemicals including dioxins, flavonoids, tryptophan photoproducts, and Malassezia metabolites. Upon binding to its ligands, cytoplasmic AhR translocates to the nucleus, heterodimerizes with aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT), and mediates numerous biological and toxicological effects by inducing the transcription of various AhR-responsive genes. AhR ligation controls oxidation/antioxidation, epidermal barrier function, photo-induced response, melanogenesis, and innate immunity. This review summarizes recent advances in the understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of skin homeostasis mediated by the AhR/ARNT system.
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