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Gene Review

RBP4  -  retinol binding protein 4, plasma

Bos taurus

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Disease relevance of RBP4

  • Several mutants of RBP were generated and produced in Escherichia coli, and their Zn(II)-binding properties were investigated in equilibrium dialysis experiments [1].
  • Through use of bpRBP antiserum, immunoreactive RBP was detected in uterine flushings collected from cows in the late luteal phase of the estrous cycle and early pregnancy by Western blotting, and in medium conditioned by uterine explants prepared at Days 13-29 of pregnancy by immunoprecipitation [2].

High impact information on RBP4


Biological context of RBP4

  • The RBP cDNA clone, designated bcRBP-700, is 732 bp in length and codes for a protein whose predicted amino acid sequence is identical to that of bovine plasma RBP [6].
  • A cDNA clone encoding retinol-binding protein (RBP) was isolated from a bovine conceptus cDNA library by use of an antiserum specific for bovine conceptus RBP (bcRBP) [6].
  • Finally, we present experimental evidence that the binding sites of RBP, BLG, and OBP are in different regions of the molecules [7].
  • In contrast to the observation on lipocalins as retinol binding protein (RBP), major urinary protein (MUP) or bovine odorant binding protein (bOBP), no naturally occurring ligand was found in the beta-barrel cavity of pOBP [8].
  • In pigs, RBP gene expression was low to undetectable at Days 0, 5, and 10 of the estrous cycle and Day 10 of pregnancy [9].

Anatomical context of RBP4

  • In addition, RBP mRNA was detected in cotyledons, the sites of chorionic attachment to the uterine endometrium and physiological exchange between the embryo and its mother [6].
  • RBP mRNA was localized in epithelial cells lining the chorion, allantois, and amnion at Day 45 of pregnancy [6].
  • Expression of RBP in expanding conceptuses, developing extraembryonic membranes, and sites of fetal-maternal attachment suggests that the extraembryonic membranes regulate retinol transport and availability within the conceptus [6].
  • Strong immunostaining for RBP and hybridization signals for RBP mRNA were observed in trophectoderm of tubular but not spherical Day 13 blastocysts [6].
  • We have used x-ray diffraction techniques on single crystals of human and bovine RBP, bovine milk BLG, and bovine nasal mucosa OBP to investigate this problem [7].

Associations of RBP4 with chemical compounds

  • The loops that surround the opening of the beta-barrel are also particularly conserved, in contrast with the presence of several substitutions in parts of the RBP molecule opposite the opening of the calyx that binds retinol [10].
  • For this purpose, we have developed a cell-free system composed of plasma membrane-enriched fractions from bovine retinal pigment epithelium which selectively incorporates exogenous vitamin A when presented as a retinol-RBP complex [11].
  • This behavior further supports the hypothesis that the area of the entrance of the beta-barrel, which includes the ethyl group of the retinoid bound to RBP, is involved in the interaction with transthyretin [4].
  • Retinol, a metabolic precursor of retinal and retinoic acid, is transported in plasma by the plasma retinol-binding protein (RBP) [5].
  • In fact, the replacement of the retinol hydroxyl group and quite small structural changes in the above region of the RBP molecule drastically affect the protein-protein recognition [4].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of RBP4


  1. Grafting of a high-affinity Zn(II)-binding site on the beta-barrel of retinol-binding protein results in enhanced folding stability and enables simplified purification. Müller, H.N., Skerra, A. Biochemistry (1994) [Pubmed]
  2. Characterization and immunolocalization of bovine uterine retinol-binding protein. Liu, K.H., Godkin, J.D. Biol. Reprod. (1992) [Pubmed]
  3. Crystallographic studies on complexes between retinoids and plasma retinol-binding protein. Zanotti, G., Marcello, M., Malpeli, G., Folli, C., Sartori, G., Berni, R. J. Biol. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
  4. The interaction of N-ethyl retinamide with plasma retinol-binding protein (RBP) and the crystal structure of the retinoid-RBP complex at 1.9-A resolution. Zanotti, G., Malpeli, G., Berni, R. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
  5. The retinal pigment epithelial membrane receptor for plasma retinol-binding protein. Isolation and cDNA cloning of the 63-kDa protein. Båvik, C.O., Lévy, F., Hellman, U., Wernstedt, C., Eriksson, U. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
  6. Expression and cellular localization of retinol-binding protein messenger ribonucleic acid in bovine blastocysts and extraembryonic membranes. Liu, K.H., Doré, J.J., Roberts, M.P., Krishnan, R., Hopkins, F.M., Godkin, J.D. Biol. Reprod. (1993) [Pubmed]
  7. Three-dimensional structure and active site of three hydrophobic molecule-binding proteins with significant amino acid sequence similarity. Monaco, H.L., Zanotti, G. Biopolymers (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. Complexes of porcine odorant binding protein with odorant molecules belonging to different chemical classes. Vincent, F., Spinelli, S., Ramoni, R., Grolli, S., Pelosi, P., Cambillau, C., Tegoni, M. J. Mol. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. Retinol-binding protein gene expression in cyclic and pregnant endometrium of pigs, sheep, and cattle. Harney, J.P., Ott, T.L., Geisert, R.D., Bazer, F.W. Biol. Reprod. (1993) [Pubmed]
  10. Crystal structure of liganded and unliganded forms of bovine plasma retinol-binding protein. Zanotti, G., Berni, R., Monaco, H.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1993) [Pubmed]
  11. Vitamin A uptake from retinol-binding protein in a cell-free system from pigment epithelial cells of bovine retina. Retinol transfer from plasma retinol-binding protein to cytoplasmic retinol-binding protein with retinyl-ester formation as the intermediate step. Ottonello, S., Petrucco, S., Maraini, G. J. Biol. Chem. (1987) [Pubmed]
  12. The bovine plasma retinol-binding protein. Amino acid sequence, interaction with transthyretin, crystallization and preliminary X-ray data. Berni, R., Stoppini, M., Zapponi, M.C., Meloni, M.L., Monaco, H.L., Zanotti, G. Eur. J. Biochem. (1990) [Pubmed]
  13. Purification and characterization of bovine placental retinol-binding protein. Liu, K.H., Baumbach, G.A., Gillevet, P.M., Godkin, J.D. Endocrinology (1990) [Pubmed]
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