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Retinoid metabolism and functions mediated by retinoid binding-proteins.

Abstract

Cellular retinoid-binding proteins (BP) chaperone retinol through esterification, conversion of retinol into retinal, reduction of retinal, conversion of retinal into all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), and ATRA to catabolism. They also deliver ATRA to nuclear receptors and mediate non-genomic ATRA actions. These retinoid-specific binding-proteins include: cellular retinol binding-protein, type 1 (Crbp1), cellular retinol binding-protein type 2 (Crbp2), cellular retinol binding-protein type 3 (Crbp3), cellular retinoic acid binding-protein type 1 (Crabp1); cellular retinoic acid binding-protein type 2 (Crabp2). Retinoid BP bind their ligands specifically and with high-affinity. These BP seemingly evolved to solubilize the lipophilic retinoids in the aqueous cellular medium, and allow retinoid access only to enzymes that recognize both the BP and the retinoid. By chaperoning retinoids through cells, retinoid BP provide specificity to retinoids' metabolism and protect the scarce resource from dispersing into cell membranes and/or undergoing catabolism as xenobiotics. Other functions include non-genomic actions of Crabp1, delivery of ATRA to RAR by holo-Crabp2, and stabilization of HuR by apo-Crabp2. In addition to the retinoid-specific BP, Fabp5 also binds ATRA and delivers it to Pparδ. This article describes these BP and their functions, with a focus on experimental protocols to distinguish protein-protein interactions from diffusion-mediated transfer of ligand from BP to enzymes or receptors, and methods for quantifying retinoids.

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