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Elsevier, Chemico-Biological Interactions: A journal of molecular, cellular and biochemical toxicology, 1-3(202), p. 186-194

DOI: 10.1016/j.cbi.2012.11.014



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Aldo-keto reductases in retinoid metabolism: Search for substrate specificity and inhibitor selectivity

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Biological activity of natural retinoids requires the oxidation of retinol to retinoic acid (RA) and its binding to specific nuclear receptors in target tissues. The first step of this pathway, the reversible oxidoreduction of retinol to retinaldehyde, is essential to control RA levels. The enzymes of retinol oxidation are NAD-dependent dehydrogenases of the cytosolic medium-chain (MDR) and the membrane-bound short-chain (SDR) dehydrogenases/reductases. Retinaldehyde reduction can be performed by SDR and aldo-keto reductases (AKR), while its oxidation to RA is carried out by aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH). In contrast to SDR, AKR and ALDH are cytosolic. A common property of these enzymes is that they only use free retinoid, but not retinoid bound to cellular retinol binding protein (CRBP). The relative contribution of each enzyme type in retinoid metabolism is discussed in terms of the different subcellular localization, topology of membrane-bound enzymes, kinetic constants, binding affinity of CRBP for retinol and retinaldehyde, and partition of retinoid pools between membranes and cytoplasm. The development of selective inhibitors for AKR enzymes 1B1 and 1B10, of clinical relevance in diabetes and cancer, granted the investigation of some structure-activity relationships. Kinetics with the 4-methyl derivatives of retinaldehyde isomers was performed to identify structural features for substrate specificity. Hydrophilic derivatives were better substrates than the more hydrophobic compounds. We also explored the inhibitory properties of some synthetic retinoids, known for binding to retinoic acid receptors (RAR) and retinoid X receptors (RXR). Consistent with its substrate specificity towards retinaldehyde, AKR1B10 was more effectively inhibited by synthetic retinoids than AKR1B1. A RARβ/γ agonist (UVI2008) inhibited AKR1B10 with the highest potency and selectivity, and docking simulations predicted that its carboxyl group binds to the anion-binding pocket.