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J Nutr. 1993 Feb;123(2 Suppl):362-6.

Biosynthesis and metabolism of retinoic acid: roles of CRBP and CRABP in retinoic acid: roles of CRBP and CRABP in retinoic acid homeostasis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, SUNY-Buffalo 14214.


The enzymes that constitute the pathway of retinoic acid biosynthesis and metabolism may recognize retinoid binding proteins as effectors and substrates. Apocellular retinol-binding protein (CRBP) stimulates a bile-salt independent membrane-bound retinyl ester hydrolase resulting in the hydrolysis of endogenous retinyl esters and the formation of holoCRBP. HoloCRBP delivers retinol to a microsomal nicotin-amide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate-dependent dehydrogenase, protects it from artifactual oxidation and denies enzymes that cannot recognize the binding protein access to retinol. The retinal synthesized may be transferred from the microsomes to the cytosol by CRBP. A cytosolic retinal dehydrogenase has been purified that produces retinoic acid from retinal generated by microsomes in the presence of CRBP and from the complex CRBP-retinal itself. Thus, CRBP(type I) seems to channel retinoids through the reactions of retinoic acid synthesis via a series of protein-protein interactions. Cellular retinoic acid-binding protein (type I) facilitates retinoic acid metabolism by sequestering it and by acting as a low Km substrate, thereby also modulating the steady-state concentrations of retinoic acid.

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