Send to

Choose Destination
Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1999 Aug;59(5):315-24.

Retinoylation of proteins in rat hepatocytes following uptake of chylomicron remnant retinyl ester.

Author information

Institute for Nutrition Research, University of Oslo, Blindern, Norway.


Several proteins may covalently bind retinoic acid, a process called retinoylation. Recently, we have demonstrated that proteins were retinoylated in vivo in liver, kidney and lung. In order to gain further knowledge about the mechanism of this process, we studied retinoylation in rat hepatocytes administered vitamin A as [3H]retinyl esters in chylomicron remnants. This resembles the normal physiological uptake of vitamin A. After 24 h incubation, about 0.0017 mol [3H]retinoid was covalently bound per mol protein. Citral, an inhibitor of the oxidation of retinol to retinoic acid, reduced retinoylation about 40%, indicating that oxidation of retinol to retinoic acid is necessary for a large fraction of the observed covalent modification of proteins. When cells were incubated with physiological concentrations of [3H]retinol or [3H]retinoic acid dissolved in ethanol, much less retinoid was covalently bound per mol protein compared with cells incubated with chylomicron remnant. Saturation of the retinoylation was apparent with retinoic acid around the physiological concentration. Retinoylated proteins were also analysed by SDS-PAGE. In general, the same protein bands were labelled with both [3H]retinol and [3H]retinoic acid, although the intensity of the bands varied. Major bands had an apparent molecular weight of about 16, 35, 50 and 120 kDa. In a parallel experiment in which liver stellate cells were incubated with [3H]retinol, major retinoylated protein bands were about 35, 60 and 65 kDa. Thus, different proteins appear to be retinoylated in hepatocytes and liver stellate cells, suggesting that protein retinoylation is a cell specific phenomenon. These results demonstrate that retinoids presented to hepatocytes as chylomicron remnant retinyl esters are covalently linked to proteins. We therefore suggest that retinoylation of proteins represents a minor but significant pathway whereby cells metabolize vitamin A.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Norwegian BIBSYS system
Loading ...
Support Center