Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives with diverse biological functions. Both natural and artificial retinoids have been used as therapeutic reagents to treat human diseases, but not all retinoid actions are understood mechanistically. Plasma retinol binding protein (RBP) is the principal and specific carrier of vitamin A in the blood. STRA6 is the membrane receptor for RBP that mediates cellular vitamin A uptake. The effects of retinoids or related compounds on the receptor’s vitamin A uptake activity and its catalytic activities are not well understood. In this study, we dissected the membrane receptor-mediated vitamin A uptake mechanism using various retinoids. We show that a subset of retinoids strongly stimulates STRA6-mediated vitamin A release from holo-RBP. STRA6 also catalyzes the exchange of retinol in RBP with certain retinoids. The effect of retinoids on STRA6 is highly isomer-specific. This study provides unique insights into the RBP receptor’s mechanism and reveals that the vitamin A transport machinery can be a target of retinoid-based drugs.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 29, 2013
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