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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Jan 30;348(2):348-60. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.03.025. Epub 2011 Apr 8.

Nuclear retinoic acid receptors: conductors of the retinoic acid symphony during development.

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  • 1Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, INSERM, U596; CNRS, UMR7104; Université de Strasbourg, 1 rue Laurent Fries, BP 10142, 67404 Illkirch Cedex, France. esamarut@igbmc.fr


The vitamin A derivative, retinoic acid (RA), is essential for embryonic development through the activation of cognate nuclear receptors, RARs, which work as ligand dependent regulators of transcription. In vitro studies revealed how RARs control gene expression at the molecular level and now it appears that it is fine-tuned by a phosphorylation code. In addition, several genetic approaches provided valuable insights on the functions of RARs during development and on the influence of other actors such as the enzymes involved in RA synthesis and degradation and other signaling pathways. It appears that RARs are the conductors of the RA signaling symphony through controlling the dynamics and the coordination of the different players and development steps.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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