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Cell. 1991 Aug 9;66(3):555-61.

A direct repeat in the cellular retinol-binding protein type II gene confers differential regulation by RXR and RAR.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, La Jolla, California 92186-5800.


The vitamin A derivative retinoic acid exerts its effects on transcription through two distinct classes of nuclear receptors, the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and the retinoid X receptor (RXR). We provide evidence that expression of the gene for cellular retinol-binding protein type II (CRBPII), a key protein in the intestinal absorption of vitamin A, is dramatically up-regulated by retinoic acid in the presence of RXR but not RAR. This regulation is conferred through a specific cis element in the CRBPII promoter that contains five nearly perfect tandem repeats of the sequence AGGTCA spaced by a single nucleotide. The discovery of this new RX response element provides a means for distinguishing between the two retinoid receptor systems and suggests that an RXR-mediated pathway exists for modulating vitamin A metabolism.

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