The role of the retinoids in schizophrenia: genomic and clinical perspectives.
ABSTRACT: Signalling by retinoid compounds is vital for embryonic development, with particular importance for neurogenesis in the human brain. Retinoids, metabolites of vitamin A, exert influence over the expression of thousands of transcripts genome wide, and thus, act as master regulators of many important biological processes. A significant body of evidence in the literature now supports dysregulation of the retinoid system as being involved in the aetiology of schizophrenia. This includes mechanistic insights from large-scale genomic, transcriptomic and, proteomic studies, which implicate disruption of disparate aspects of retinoid biology such as transport, metabolism, and signalling. As a result, retinoids may present a valuable clinical opportunity in schizophrenia via novel pharmacotherapies and dietary intervention. Further work, however, is required to expand on the largely observational data collected thus far and confirm causality. This review will highlight the fundamentals of retinoid biology and examine the evidence for retinoid dysregulation in schizophrenia.
Project description:Retinoid dysregulation may be an important factor in the etiology of schizophrenia. This hypothesis is supported by three independent lines of evidence that triangulate on retinoid involvement in schizophrenia: (i) congenital anomalies similar to those caused by retinoid dysfunction are found in schizophrenics and their relatives; (ii) those loci that have been suggestively linked to schizophrenia are also the loci of the genes of the retinoid cascade (convergent loci); and (iii) the transcriptional activation of the dopamine D2 receptor and numerous schizophrenia candidate genes is regulated by retinoic acid. These findings suggest a close causal relationship between retinoids and the underlying pathophysiological defects in schizophrenia. This leads to specific strategies for linkage analyses in schizophrenia. In view of the heterodimeric nature of the retinoid nuclear receptor transcription factors, e.g., retinoid X receptor beta at chromosome 6p21.3 and retinoic acid receptor beta at 3p24.3, two-locus linkage models incorporating genes of the retinoid cascade and their heterodimeric partners, e.g., peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha at chromosome 22q12-q13 or nuclear-related receptor 1 at chromosome 2q22-q23, are proposed. New treatment modalities using retinoid analogs to alter the downstream expression of the dopamine receptors and other genes that are targets of retinoid regulation, and that are thought to be involved in schizophrenia, are suggested.
Project description:Retinoids are structurally related derivatives of vitamin A and are required for normal vision as well as cell proliferation and differentiation. Clinically, retinoids are effective in treating many skin disorders and cancers. Application of retinoids evokes substantial irritating side effects, including pain and inflammation; however, the precise mechanisms accounting for the sensory hypersensitivity are not understood. Here we show that both naturally occurring and synthetic retinoids activate recombinant or native transient receptor potential channel vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1), an irritant receptor for capsaicin, the pungent ingredient of chili peppers. In vivo, retinoids produced pain-related behaviors that were either eliminated or significantly reduced by genetic or pharmacological inhibition of TRPV1 function. These findings identify TRPV1 as an ionotropic receptor for retinoids and provide cellular and molecular insights into retinoid-evoked hypersensitivity. These findings also suggest that selective TRPV1 antagonists are potential therapeutic drugs for treating retinoid-induced sensory hypersensitivity.
Project description:Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a major life-threatening cause of respiratory failure in the newborn. Recent data reveal the role of a retinoid-signaling pathway disruption in the pathogenesis of CDH. We describe the epidemiology and pathophysiology of human CDH, the metabolism of retinoids and the implications of retinoids in the development of the diaphragm and lung. Finally, we describe the existing evidence of a disruption of the retinoid-signaling pathway in CDH.
Project description:Retinoids, such as all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), regulate cellular differentiation and signalling pathways in chordates by binding to nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RARα/β/γ). Polar interactions between receptor and ligand are important for binding and facilitating the non-polar interactions and conformational changes necessary for RAR-mediated transcriptional regulation. The constraints on activity and RAR-type specificity with respect to the structural link between the polar and non-polar functions of synthetic retinoids are poorly understood. To address this, predictions from in silico ligand-RAR docking calculations and molecular dynamics simulations for a small library of stable, synthetic retinoids (designated GZ series) containing a central thiazole linker structure and different hydrophobic region substituents, were tested using a ligand binding assay and a range of cellular biological assays. The docking analysis showed that these thiazole-containing retinoids were well suited to the binding pocket of RARα, particularly via a favorable hydrogen bonding interaction between the thiazole and Ser232 of RARα. A bulky hydrophobic region (i.e., present in compounds GZ23 and GZ25) was important for interaction with the RAR binding pockets. Ligand binding assays generally reflected the findings from in silico docking, and showed that GZ25 was a particularly strongly binding ligand for RARα/β. GZ25 also exhibited higher activity as an inducer of neuronal differentiation than ATRA and other GZ derivatives. These data demonstrate that GZ25 is a stable synthetic retinoid with improved activity which efficiently regulates neuronal differentiation and help to define the key structural requirements for retinoid activity enabling the design and development of the next generation of more active, selective synthetic retinoids as potential therapeutic regulators of neurogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Retinoids are very potent inducers of cellular differentiation and apoptosis, and are efficient anti-tumoral agents. Synthetic retinoids are designed to restrict their toxicity and side effects, mostly by increasing their selectivity toward each isotype of retinoic acids receptors (RARalpha,beta, gamma and RXRalpha, beta, gamma). We however previously showed that retinoids displayed very different abilities to activate retinoid-inducible reporter genes, and that these differential properties were correlated to the ability of a given ligand to promote SRC-1 recruitment by DNA-bound RXR:RAR heterodimers. This suggested that gene-selective modulation could be achieved by structurally distinct retinoids. RESULTS:Using the differential display mRNA technique, we identified several genes on the basis of their differential induction by natural or synthetic retinoids in human cervix adenocarcinoma cells. Furthermore, this differential ability to regulate promoter activities was also observed in murine P19 cells for the RARbeta2 and CRABPII gene, showing conclusively that retinoid structure has a dramatic impact on the regulation of endogenous genes. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings therefore show that some degree of selective induction or repression of gene expression may be achieved when using appropriately designed ligands for retinoic acid receptors, extending the concept of selective modulators from estrogen and peroxisome proliferator activated receptors to the class of retinoid receptors.
Project description:The literature indicates that retinoids can influence the metabolism and actions of xenobiotics and conversely that xenobiotics can influence the metabolism and actions of retinoids. We were interested in understanding the degree to which hepatic retinoid stores, accumulated over a lifetime, affect xenobiotic metabolism, and actions. To investigate this, we induced liver injury through administration of the hepatotoxin thioacetamide (TAA) to chow fed wild type (WT) mice and lecithin:retinol acyltransferase-deficient (Lrat(-/-)) mice that are genetically unable to accumulate hepatic retinoid stores. Within 48 h of TAA-treatment, WT mice develop liver injury as evidenced by focal necrotic areas and increases in serum ALT activity and myeloperoxidase activity in hepatic parenchyma. Simultaneously, features of hepatic encephalopathy develop, as evidenced by a 25% increase in blood ammonia and a threefold reduction of blood glucose levels. This is accompanied by reduced hepatic glutathione, and increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, protein carbonyl and sulfhydryl groups, and increased cytochrome P450-catalyzed hydroxylation activity and flavin-containing monooxygenase activity in microsomes prepared from WT liver. Strikingly, none of these TAA-induced effects were observed for matched Lrat(-/-) mice. To confirm that TAA hepatotoxicity depends on retinoid availability, we administered, over 48 h, four oral doses of 3000 IU retinyl acetate each to the mice. This led to the development of hepatotoxicity in Lrat(-/-) mice that was similar in extent to that observed in WT mice. Our findings establish that endogenous hepatic retinoid stores can modulate the toxicity of TAA in mice.
Project description:An exhaustive sampling of the configurational space of all-trans retinol using a 0.1 microsecond molecular-dynamics simulation is presented. The essential dynamics technique is used to describe the conformational changes in retinol using only three degrees of freedom. The different conformational states of retinol are analysed, and differences in free energy are calculated. The essential dynamics description allows a detailed comparison of free retinol and retinoids bound to retinoid-binding proteins and opens new possibilities in the small-molecule docking field. The dynamics of retinoids when complexed with their binding proteins are restricted, and they are forced into strained conformations. A "spring' model for retinoid binding is proposed. This model is extended to a hypothesis for retinoid binding to visual pigments and bacteriorhodopsin.
Project description:Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives with diverse biological functions. Both natural and artificial retinoids have been used as therapeutic reagents to treat human diseases, but not all retinoid actions are understood mechanistically. Plasma retinol binding protein (RBP) is the principal and specific carrier of vitamin A in the blood. STRA6 is the membrane receptor for RBP that mediates cellular vitamin A uptake. The effects of retinoids or related compounds on the receptor's vitamin A uptake activity and its catalytic activities are not well understood. In this study, we dissected the membrane receptor-mediated vitamin A uptake mechanism using various retinoids. We show that a subset of retinoids strongly stimulates STRA6-mediated vitamin A release from holo-RBP. STRA6 also catalyzes the exchange of retinol in RBP with certain retinoids. The effect of retinoids on STRA6 is highly isomer-specific. This study provides unique insights into the RBP receptor's mechanism and reveals that the vitamin A transport machinery can be a target of retinoid-based drugs.
Project description:Although the administration of retinoids represents an important part of treatment for children suffering from high-risk neuroblastomas, approximately 50% of these patients do not respond to this therapy or develop resistance to retinoids during treatment. Our study focused on the comparative analysis of the expression of five genes and corresponding proteins (DDX39A, HMGA1, HMGA2, HOXC9 and PBX1) that have recently been discussed as possible predictive biomarkers of clinical response to retinoid differentiation therapy. Expression of these five candidate biomarkers was evaluated at both the mRNA and protein level in the same subset of 8 neuroblastoma cell lines after treatment with natural or synthetic retinoids. We found that the cell lines that were HMGA2-positive and/or HOXC9-negative have a reduced sensitivity to retinoids. Furthermore, the experiments revealed that the retinoid-sensitive cell lines showed a uniform pattern of change after treatment with both natural and sensitive retinoids: increased DDX39A and decreased PBX1 protein levels. Our results showed that in NBL cells, these putative protein biomarkers are associated with sensitivity or resistance to retinoids, and their endogenous or induced expression can distinguish between these two phenotypes.
Project description:Rhodopsins require retinoid chromophores for their function. In vertebrates, retinoids also serve as signaling molecules, but whether these molecules similarly regulate gene expression in Drosophila remains unclear. Here, we report the identification of a retinoid-inducible gene in Drosophila, highroad, which is required for photoreceptors to clear folding-defective mutant Rhodopsin-1 proteins. Specifically, knockdown or genetic deletion of highroad blocks the degradation of folding-defective Rhodopsin-1 mutant, ninaEG69D. Moreover, loss of highroad accelerates the age-related retinal degeneration phenotype of ninaEG69D mutants. Elevated highroad transcript levels are detected in ninaEG69D flies, and interestingly, deprivation of retinoids in the fly diet blocks this effect. Consistently, mutations in the retinoid transporter, santa maria, impairs the induction of highroad in ninaEG69D flies. In cultured S2 cells, highroad expression is induced by retinoic acid treatment. These results indicate that cellular quality-control mechanisms against misfolded Rhodopsin-1 involve regulation of gene expression by retinoids.