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Nature. 1988 Apr 28;332(6167):850-3.

Identification of a second human retinoic acid receptor.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes du CNRS, Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg, France.


We have previously described a human complementary DNA that encodes a novel protein which is homologous to members of the steroid/thyroid nuclear receptor multigene family. This novel protein (hap for hepatoma) exhibits strong homology with the human retinoic acid receptor (RAR) which has been recently characterized. To test the possibility that the hap protein might also be a retinoid receptor, a chimaeric receptor was created by replacing the putative DNA binding domain of hap with that of the human oestrogen receptor (ER). The resulting hap-ER chimaera was then tested for its ability to trans-activate an oestrogen-responsive reporter gene (vit-tk-CAT) in the presence of possible receptor ligands. Here we show that retinoic acid (RA) at physiological concentrations is effective in inducing the expression of this reporter gene by the hap-ER chimaeric receptor. This demonstrates the existence of two human retinoic acid receptors designated RAR-alpha and RAR-beta.

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