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

Gene expression of retinoic acid receptors, retinoid-X receptors, and cellular retinol-binding protein I in bone and its regulation by vitamin A.

We investigated the gene expression of retinoic acid (RA) receptors (RARs) and retinoid-binding proteins, and the effect of vitamin A on gene expression in the rat tibia to understand the actions of vitamin A on bone tissue. The transcripts of all three subtypes of all-trans RAR (alpha, beta, and gamma) and two of three subtypes of retinoid-X receptor (alpha and beta) were detected by Northern blotting. Among cellular retinol-binding protein I (CRBP-I) and CRBP-II and cellular retinoic acid-binding protein I and II, only the CRBP-I gene was expressed. These results indicated that in bone, the actions of vitamin A are exerted through these nuclear receptors by regulating target gene expression, and through CRBP-I by modulating the intracellular transport of vitamin A. Moreover, using rats of various retinoid status, we investigated whether the expression of target genes for vitamin A (RAR beta and CRBP-I) is regulated by retinoic acid (RA) in the adult rat tibia. The messenger RNA levels of these genes in vitamin A-deficient rats decreased to half of those in normal rats and were quickly restored (4 h) by either all-trans-RA or 9-cis-RA. Excess RA given to normal rats doubled the messenger RNA levels of these two genes. These results verified that, like other target tissues, bone is a target for vitamin A in terms of gene expression. In addition, we examined the effect of RAs on the expression of the target genes for vitamin D, because it is possible that 9-cis-RA is involved in the transcriptional control of vitamin D receptor by forming a heterodimer complex with retinoid-X receptor. The vitamin D-regulated osteopontin gene was induced 4 h after the administration of RA regardless of retinoid or vitamin D status. RA also induced osteopontin gene expression in concert with vitamin D in normal rats. Specific inhibitors of transcription showed that gene expression may be regulated by RA at the transcriptional level. Thus, the results presented here clarified at the molecular level that bone is a target organ for vitamin A in terms of gene expression.[1]


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