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J Biol Chem. 1992 Oct 25;267(30):21486-91.

The level of CRABP-I expression influences the amounts and types of all-trans-retinoic acid metabolites in F9 teratocarcinoma stem cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York 10021.


The CRABP-I and CRABP-II proteins are high affinity cytoplasmic retinoic acid-binding proteins. In undifferentiated F9 teratocarcinoma stem cells, only the CRABP-I protein is expressed at detectable levels. We have previously shown that overexpression of the CRABP-I protein in stably transfected F9 stem cell lines results in a lower sensitivity to a given external concentration of retinoic acid relative to that of untransfected F9 cells; in contrast, reduced CRABP-I expression in CRABP-I cDNA anti-sense transfected lines is associated with increased sensitivity of these lines to retinoic acid. These three types of cell lines were cultured in the presence of 50 nM [3H]retinoic acid, and the metabolism of retinoic acid was followed over the next 24 h. The results demonstrate that CRABP-I has the ability to alter both the levels and types of RA metabolites produced in the cytoplasm of differentiating embryonic stem cells. Moreover, the level of CRABP-I determines the rate of RA metabolism to 4-oxo-RA such that the higher the CRABP-I level, the faster the metabolism of [3H]retinoic acid. This is the first reported connection between the level of CRABP-I expression and intracellular RA metabolism.

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