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Drug Metab Dispos. 2001 May;29(5):742-7.

Effects of receptor-selective retinoids on CYP26 gene expression and metabolism of all-trans-retinoic acid in intestinal cells.

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  • 1Zentrumsabteilung für Lebensmitteltoxikologie, Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hannover, Germany.


Retinoids mediate most of their function via interaction with retinoid receptors [retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs)], which act as ligand-activated transcription factors controlling the expression of a number of target genes. The complex mechanistic pattern of retinoid-induced effects on gene expression of CYP26 and intestinal metabolism of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) was investigated here by studying the effects of retinoid ligands with relative selectivity for binding and transactivation of the retinoid acid receptors, RARs and RXRs, in human intestinal Caco-2 cells. We show here that CYP26 is expressed in human duodenum and colon. In Caco-2 cells not only all-trans-RA but also synthetic agonists of the RAR induced intestinal CYP26 gene expression and all-trans-RA metabolism as well. The RARalpha ligand Am580 induced the CYP26 gene expression more than the RARbeta ligand CD2019 or the RARgamma ligand CD437 suggesting the highest specificity for RARalpha on intestinal CYP26 gene regulation. RXR ligands alone did not induce CYP26 gene expression or RA metabolism in Caco-2 cells at all. But together with the RARalpha ligand, Am580, there were enhanced effects on the induction of CYP26 gene expression and on the induction of the metabolism of all-trans-RA. We conclude that gene regulation of CYP26 and the metabolism of all-trans-RA in intestinal cells is regulated through RXR and RAR heterodimerization. When coadministered, RAR agonists showed the highest potency for CYP26 gene regulation. Receptor-selective retinoids showed enhanced effects on induction of CYP26 gene expression and all-trans-retinoic acid metabolism.

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