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

Evaluation of vitamin A analogs in modulating epithelial differentiation of 13-day chick embryo metatarsal skin explants.

Seventeen vitamin A compounds were evaluated in organ culture for activity in altering epithelial differentiation of metatarsal skin explants from 13-day-old chick embryos. The explants keratinized in 6 to 8 days and, when cultured in the presence of beta-retinoic acid (RA), inhibition of keratinization occurred and a mucous metaplasia developed. A cyclopentenyl analog of retinoic acid was approximately 10-fold more effective than RA in producing mucous metaplasia. Six other analogs exhibited about the same activity as RA: trimethylmethoxyphenyl analog of retinoic acids, alpha-retinoic acid, 13-cis-retinoic acid, methyl retinoate, ethyl retinoate, and N-ethylretinamide. The following 5 vitamin A compounds were about one-fourth as effective as RA: the trimethylmethoxyphenyl analog of ethylretinamide, the phenyl analog of retinoic acid, the trimethylmethoxyphenyl analog of ethyl retinoate, beta-retinyl acetate, and retinol. The furyl analog of retinoic acid and N,N-diethylretinamide were approximately one-tenth and one-fifteenth less effective than RA in inhibiting keratinization. The analog, alpha-retinyl acetate, was about one-hundredth as effective as RA and the pyridyl analog of retinoic acid (2.5 X 10(-5) M) did not inhibit keratinization. Since the property of altering epithelial differentiation may be a fundamental requirement for the prophylaxis and/or treatment of malignant epithelial lesions, this system can be used to determine whether the new synthetic analogs of vitamin A are active in modulating epithelial differentiation.[1]


  1. Evaluation of vitamin A analogs in modulating epithelial differentiation of 13-day chick embryo metatarsal skin explants. Wilkoff, L.J., Peckham, J.C., Dulmadge, E.A., Mowry, R.W., Chopra, D.P. Cancer Res. (1976) [Pubmed]
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