Navigation Links
Study indicates vitamin A plays key role in the human body
Date:3/17/2011

Grand Rapids, Mich. (March 17, 2011) In a recently-published study mapping the structure and function of the so-called "orphan" nuclear receptor TR4, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) investigators suggest that Vitamin A may play a more direct role than was previously known in certain physiological functions including sperm cell formation and the development of the central nervous system.

Scientists had previously determined that Vitamin A derivatives such as retinal and the retinoic acids are involved in physiological functions in the human body. But there has been little direct evidence to show that Vitamin A, or retinol, the most common dietary form of the vitamin and the parental compound of the retinoid group, is directly involved in nuclear receptor signaling pathways a process which activates genes in the human body.

"Our study found that Vitamin A itself is active for activating nuclear receptor TR4," said VARI Research Scientist Edward Zhou, Ph.D. "Because TR4 plays roles in sperm cell production, lipid and lipoprotein regulation, the development of the central nervous system, and the regulation of hemoglobin production in the embryo, we can imagine that Vitamin A may play more important roles in human physiology than was previously believed."

The study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was named by the journal as a "Paper of the Week," indicating that the study is in the top 1 percent of published papers in terms of significance and overall importance. About 50 to 100 such studies are selected from the more than 6,600 published by the journal each year.

Nuclear receptors activate genes in important biological processes in the human body. Orphan nuclear receptors are a group of nuclear receptors whose ligands, or the substance to which receptors bind, have not yet been identified, and whose physiological functions have not been very well investigated.

"Recent evidence has shown that orphan nuclear receptors are required for many essential physiological functions in the human body, and can be used to help discover drug targets for human diseases," said Zhou. "Additionally, the identification of ligands for nuclear receptors usually leads to the discovery of new types of therapeutic drugs for human diseases. A very successful example is PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors), whose ligands are used for the treatment of diabetes."

Dr. Zhou and his colleagues in VARI's Laboratory of Structural Sciences, under the direction of VARI Center for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery Director H. Eric Xu, Ph.D., used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of TR4's ligand binding domain. They also identified small molecules involved in TR4 transcription the synthesis of RNA using DNA as the blueprint that could serve as potential drug targets.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Gavan
joe.gavan@vai.org
616-234-5390
Van Andel Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) ... million US Dollar project, for the , Supply ... Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... 2016   EyeLock LLC , a market leader ... of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... development of embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s ... and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the ... DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
Breaking Biology Technology: