Structure-function relation in retinoid regulated gene expression

Susmita Poddar, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Retinoids are known to inhibit proliferation of and induce terminal differentiation of many normal and transformed cells. It has been postulated that retinoids exert their effect by altering gene expression. HL-60 cells and macrophages both respond to retinoic acid action by the rapid induction of the enzyme tissue transglutaminase. The induction has been shown to be due to increased transcription of the transglutaminase gene. The first part of the dissertation studied the structure-function relationship of retinoid-regulated transglutaminase induction, differentiation and proliferation in HL-60 cells using retinoid analogs. The results indicated strict structural constraints and a strong structure-function correlation between transglutaminase induction and differentiation; those retinoids that induced transglutaminase also induced differentiation, those analogs that did not induce transglutaminase could not induce differentiation. The ability of the retinoids to induce transglutaminase in HL-60 cells was paralleled in macrophages. However, the antiproliferative effect of the retinoids displayed less stringent structural constraints than their differentiation- and transglutaminase-inducing properties. Specifically all the retinoids were able to inhibit proliferation to varying extents. It is concluded that the induction of transglutaminase and of differentiation by retinoids is mediated by receptors. While receptor mediation cannot be entirely ruled out, with the current data no definitive statement can be made about the antiproliferative activity of retinoids. Also, the concordance in the ability of the retinoids to induce transglutaminase and the ability to induce differentiation of HL-60 cells suggests that the former is an early response of the cells to retinoids and differentiation a later consequence on the same pathway. Using the induction of transglutaminase as an index of the direct, or primary, effect of retinoids on gene expression, the second part of the dissertation investigates, by 2D gel electrophoresis, the alteration in the rates of synthesis of other proteins in macrophages and HL-60 cells in response to short incubations with retinoic acid. Any changes in parallel with transglutaminase were taken to indicate proteins directly under the control of retinoic acid. It is concluded that retinoic acid regulates the expression of a circumscribed set of genes in a cell-specific manner. The results support the hypothesis that retinoids exert their multiple effects on myeloid cells, in part, by receptor-mediated alternations in gene expression.

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Recommended Citation

Poddar, Susmita, "Structure-function relation in retinoid regulated gene expression" (1988). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8914941.