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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

cDNA cloning and expression of a human aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) active with 9-cis-retinal and identification of a rat ortholog, ALDH12.

This report describes the isolation of a heretofore uncharacterized aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) with retinal dehydrogenase activity from rat kidney and the cloning and expression of a cDNA that encodes its human ortholog, the previously unknown ALDH12. The human ALDH12 cDNA predicts a 487-residue protein with the 23 invariant amino acids, four conserved regions, cofactor binding motif (G(209)XGX(3)G), and active site cysteine residue (Cys(287)) that typify members of the ALDH superfamily. ALDH12 seems at least as efficient (V(m)/K(m)) in converting 9-cis-retinal into the retinoid X receptor ligand 9-cis-retinoic acid as two previously identified ALDHs with 9-cis-retinal dehydrogenase activity, rat retinal dehydrogenase (RALDH) 1 and RALDH2. ALDH12, however, has approximately 40-fold higher activity with 9-cis- retinal than with all-trans-retinal, whereas RALDH1 and RALDH2 have equivalent and approximately 4-fold less efficiencies for 9-cis-retinal versus all-trans-retinal, respectively. Therefore, ALDH12 is the first known ALDH to show a preference for 9-cis-retinal relative to all-trans-retinal. Evidence consistent with the possibility that ALDH12 could function in a pathway of 9-cis-retinoic acid biosynthesis in vivo includes biosynthesis of 9-cis-retinoic acid from 9-cis-retinol in cells co-transfected with cDNAs encoding ALDH12 and the 9-cis-retinol/androgen dehydrogenase, cis-retinoid/androgen dehydrogenase type 1. Intense ALDH12 mRNA expression in adult and fetal liver and kidney, two organs that reportedly have relatively high concentrations of 9-cis-retinol, reinforces this notion.[1]


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