Retinoic acid receptors (RAR) and retinoid X receptors (RXR) are ligand-mediated transcription factors that synchronize intricate signaling networks in metazoans. Dimer formation between these two nuclear receptors mediates the recruitment of co-regulatory complexes coordinating the progression of signaling cascades during developmental and regenerative events. In the present study we identified and characterized the receptors for retinoic acid in the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima; a model system capable of regenerative organogenesis during adulthood. Molecular characterizations revealed the presence of three isoforms of RAR and two of RXR as a consequence of alternative splicing events. Various analyses including: primary structure sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, protein domain prediction, and multiple sequence alignment further confirmed their identity. Semiquantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis of each receptor isoform herein identified showed that the retinoid receptors are expressed in all tissues sampled: the mesenteries, respiratory trees, muscles, gonads, and the digestive tract. During regenerative organogenesis two of the receptors (RAR-L and RXR-T) showed differential expression in the posterior segment while RAR-S is differentially expressed in the anterior segment of the intestine. This work presents the first description of the components relaying the signaling for retinoic acid within this model system.
Gene – Elsevier
Published: May 15, 2018
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