Author(s): Eroglu A, Hruszkewycz DP, dela Sena C, Narayanasamy S, Riedl KM,
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Abstract β-Carotene is the major dietary source of provitamin A. Central cleavage of β-carotene catalyzed by β-carotene oxygenase 1 yields two molecules of retinaldehyde. Subsequent oxidation produces all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), which functions as a ligand for a family of nuclear transcription factors, the retinoic acid receptors (RARs). Eccentric cleavage of β-carotene at non-central double bonds is catalyzed by other enzymes and can also occur non-enzymatically. The products of these reactions are β-apocarotenals and β-apocarotenones, whose biological functions in mammals are unknown. We used reporter gene assays to show that none of the β-apocarotenoids significantly activated RARs. Importantly, however, β-apo-14'-carotenal, β-apo-14'-carotenoic acid, and β-apo-13-carotenone antagonized ATRA-induced transactivation of RARs. Competitive radioligand binding assays demonstrated that these putative RAR antagonists compete directly with retinoic acid for high affinity binding to purified receptors. Molecular modeling studies confirmed that β-apo-13-carotenone can interact directly with the ligand binding site of the retinoid receptors. β-Apo-13-carotenone and the β-apo-14'-carotenoids inhibited ATRA-induced expression of retinoid responsive genes in Hep G2 cells. Finally, we developed an LC/MS method and found 3-5 nm β-apo-13-carotenone was present in human plasma. These findings suggest that β-apocarotenoids function as naturally occurring retinoid antagonists. The antagonism of retinoid signaling by these metabolites may have implications for the activities of dietary β-carotene as a provitamin A and as a modulator of risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology