Homodimer formation of retinoid X receptor induced by 9-cis retinoic acid

Nature. 1992 Aug 13;358(6387):587-91. doi: 10.1038/358587a0.


Retinoid response pathways are mediated by two classes of receptors, the retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and the retinoid X receptors (RXRs). A central question is whether distinct response pathways are regulated by these two classes of receptors. The observation that the stereoisomer 9-cis-retinoic acid binds with high affinity to RXRs suggested that this retinoid has a distinct role in controlling RXR activity, but it was almost simultaneously discovered that RXRs function as auxiliary receptors for RARs and related receptors, and are essential for DNA binding and function of those receptors. Hence, although RARs seem to operate effectively only as heterodimeric RAR/RXR complexes, RXRs themselves apparently function predominantly, if not exclusively, as auxiliary receptors. Here we report that 9-cis-retinoic acid induces RXR homodimer formation. Our results demonstrate a new mechanism for retinoid action by which a ligand-induced homodimer mediates a distinct retinoid response pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / genetics
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Retinoid X Receptors
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transfection
  • Tretinoin / metabolism
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Retinoid X Receptors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tretinoin
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase