Enzymology of retinoic acid biosynthesis and degradation

Academic Article


  • All-trans-retinoic acid is a biologically active derivative of vitamin A that regulates numerous physiological processes. The concentration of retinoic acid in the cells is tightly regulated, but the exact mechanisms responsible for this regulation are not completely understood, largely because the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of retinoic acid have not been fully defined. Recent studies using in vitro and in vivo models suggest that several members of the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily of proteins are essential for retinoic acid biosynthesis and the maintenance of retinoic acid homeostasis. However, the exact roles of some of these recently identified enzymes are yet to be characterized. The properties of the known contributors to retinoid metabolism have now been better defined and allow for more detailed understanding of their interactions with retinoid-binding proteins and other retinoid enzymes. At the same time, further studies are needed to clarify the interactions between the cytoplasmic and membrane-bound proteins involved in the processing of hydrophobic retinoid metabolites. This review summarizes current knowledge about the roles of various biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes in the regulation of retinoic acid homeostasis and outlines the remaining questions in the field. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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    Author List

  • Kedishvili NY
  • Start Page

  • 1744
  • End Page

  • 1760
  • Volume

  • 54
  • Issue

  • 7