Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) are known as g environmental contaminants on account of the extreme toxicity. Among these compounds, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TetraCDD) is regarded as the most toxic one. The extremely high toxicity of 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD is based on its high affinity for Ah receptor and nearly undetectable metabolism in mammalian body. Based on our previous studies, we assumed that enlarging the space of substrate-binding pocket of rat CYP1A1 might generate the catalytic activity toward 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD. Large-sized amino acid residues located at putative substrate-binding sites of rat CYP1A1 were substituted for alanine by site-directed mutagenesis. Among eight mutants examined, the mutant in the putative F-G loop, F240A, showed metabolic activity toward 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD. HPLC and GC-MS analyses strongly suggested that the metabolite was 8-hydroxy-2,3,7-TriCDD. Ah receptor assay revealed that the affinity of 8-hydroxy-2,3,7-TriCDD for Ah receptor was less than 0.01% of 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD, indicating that the F240A-dependent metabolism resulted in remarkable detoxification of 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD. The novel 2,3,7,8-TetraCDD-metabolizing enzyme could be applicable to bioremediation of contaminated soils with dioxin, elimination of dioxin from foods, and clinical treatment for people who accidentally take dioxin into their systems.