Retinoic Acid and Cancer
Living reference work entry
All- trans-retinoic acid (atRA, Fig. 1), a pale yellow lipid-soluble compound, serves as an activated metabolite of vitamin A (retinol) that is required for embryonic development and normal function of postnatal tissues. atRA acts through genomic and nongenomic mechanisms, by controlling transcription and translation. atRA activates nuclear receptors, thereby regulating expression of more than 500 target genes. atRA activates the retinoic acid receptors RARα, RARβ, and RARϒ, as well as the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ). In addition, the 9- cis-RA (9cRA) isomer (Fig. 1) also is transcriptionally active. In vitro, 9cRA activates both RAR and the retinoid X receptors, RXRα, RXRβ, and RXRϒ. 9cRA occurs in pancreas β cells, in which it reduces glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but it remains uncertain whether it occurs in other tissues that express RXR – thus, its physiological significance remains incompletely understood. Synthetic compounds that...
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