Analysis of endogenous retinoic acid receptor expression and function in murine melanoma cells

John Leo Clifford, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


There have been numerous reports over the past several years on the ability of vitamin A analogs (retinoids) to modulate cell proliferation, malignant transformation, morphogenesis, and differentiation in a wide variety of cell types and organisms. Two families of nuclear retinoid-inducible, trans-acting, transcription-enhancing receptors that bear strong DNA sequence homology to thyroid and steroid hormone receptors have recently been discovered. The retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs) each have at least three types designated $\alpha,$ $\beta,$ and $\gamma,$ which are encoded by separate genes and expressed in a tissue and cell type-specific manner. We have been interested in the mechanism by which retinoids inhibit tumor cell proliferation and induce differentiation. As a model system we have employed several murine melanoma cell lines (S91-C2, K1735P, and B16-F1), which are sensitive to the growth-inhibitory and differentiation-inducing effects of RA, as well as a RA-resistant subclone of one of the cell lines (S91-C154), in order to study the role of the nuclear RARs in these effects. The initial phase of this project consisted of the characterization of the expression pattern of the three known RAR and RXR types in the murine melanoma cell lines in order to determine whether any differences exist which may elucidate a role for any of the receptors in RA-induced growth inhibition and differentiation. The novel finding was made that the RAR-$\beta$ gene is rapidly induced from undetectable levels by RA treatment at the mRNA and protein level, and that the induction of RAR-$\beta$ by other biologically active retinoids correlated with their ability to inhibit the growth of the highly RA-sensitive S91-C2 cell line. This suggests a role for RAR-$\beta$ in the growth inhibiting effect of retinoids. The second phase of this project involves the stable expression of RAR-$\beta$ in the S91-C2 cells and the RAR-$\beta$ receptor-null cell line, K1735P. These studies have indicated an inverse correlation between RAR-$\beta$ expression and proliferation rate.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Clifford, John Leo, "Analysis of endogenous retinoic acid receptor expression and function in murine melanoma cells" (1992). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9312166.