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. 2017 Jul;171:110-120.
doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.03.002. Epub 2017 Mar 4.

Fundamental Studies of Adrenal retinoid-X-receptor: Protein Isoform, Tissue Expression, Subcellular Distribution, and Ligand Availability

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Fundamental Studies of Adrenal retinoid-X-receptor: Protein Isoform, Tissue Expression, Subcellular Distribution, and Ligand Availability

Behling Cheng et al. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. .

Abstract

Adrenal gland reportedly expresses many nuclear receptors that are known to heterodimerize with retinoid-X-receptor (RXR) for functions, but the information regarding the glandular RXR is not adequate. Studies of rat adrenal homogenate by Western blotting revealed three RXR proteins: RXRα (55kDa), RXRβ (47kDa) and RXR (56kDa). RXRγ was not detectable. After fractionation, RXRα was almost exclusively localized in the nuclear fraction. In comparison, substantial portions of RXRβ and RXR were found in both nuclear and post-nuclear particle fractions, suggesting genomic and non-genomic functions. Cells immunostained for RXRα were primarily localized in zona fasciculata (ZF) and medulla, although some stained cells were found in zona glomerulosa (ZG) and zona reticularis (ZR). In contrast, cells immunostained for RXRβ were concentrated principally in ZG, although some stained cells were seen in ZR, ZF, and medulla (in descending order, qualitatively). Analysis of adrenal lipid extracts by LC/MS did not detect 9-cis-retinoic acid (a potent RXR-ligand) but identified all-trans retinoic acid. Since C20 and C22 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can also activate RXR, subcellular availabilities of unesterified fatty acids were investigated by GC/MS. As results, arachidonic acid (C20:4), adrenic acid (C22:4), docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5), and cervonic acid (C22:6) were detected in the lipids extracted from each subcellular fraction. Thus, the RXR-agonizing PUFAs are available in all the main subcellular compartments considerably. The present findings not only shed light on the adrenal network of RXRs but also provide baseline information for further investigations of RXR heterodimers in the regulation of adrenal steroidogenesis.

Keywords: Adrenal cortex; Polyunsaturated fatty acid; Retinoic acid; Retinoid-X-receptor; Steroidogenesis.

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