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

Retinoid x receptor agonists increase bcl2a1 expression and decrease apoptosis of naive T lymphocytes.

Vitamin A affects many aspects of T lymphocyte development and function. The vitamin A metabolites all-trans- and 9-cis-retinoic acid regulate gene expression by binding to the retinoic acid receptor (RAR), while 9-cis-retinoic acid also binds to the retinoid X receptor (RXR). Naive DO11.10 T lymphocytes expressed mRNA and protein for RAR-alpha, RXR-alpha, and RXR-beta. DNA microarray analysis was used to identify RXR-responsive genes in naive DO11.10 T lymphocytes treated with the RXR agonist AGN194204. A total of 128 genes was differentially expressed, including 16 (15%) involved in cell growth or apoptosis. Among these was Bcl2a1, an antiapoptotic Bcl2 family member. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis confirmed this finding and demonstrated that Bcl2a1 mRNA expression was significantly greater in nonapoptotic than in apoptotic T lymphocytes. The RXR agonist 9-cis-retinoic acid also increased Bcl2a1 expression, although all-trans-retinoic acid and ligands for other RXR partner receptors did not. Treatment with AGN194204 and 9-cis-retinoic acid significantly decreased apoptosis measured by annexin V staining but did not affect expression of Bcl2 and Bcl-xL. Bcl2a1 promoter activity was examined using a luciferase promoter construct. Both AGN194204 and 9-cis-retinoic acid significantly increased luciferase activity. In summary, these data demonstrate that RXR agonists increase Bcl2a1 promoter activity and increase expression of Bcl2a1 in naive T lymphocytes but do not affect Bcl2 and Bcl-xL expression in naive T lymphocytes. Thus, this effect on Bcl2a1 expression may account for the decreased apoptosis seen in naive T lymphocytes treated with RXR agonists.[1]


  1. Retinoid x receptor agonists increase bcl2a1 expression and decrease apoptosis of naive T lymphocytes. Rasooly, R., Schuster, G.U., Gregg, J.P., Xiao, J.H., Chandraratna, R.A., Stephensen, C.B. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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