Definition

9-cis-retinoic acid is an active retinoid that regulates expression of retinoid responsive genes, serving as ligand for two classes of ligand-dependent transcription factors, the retinoic acid receptors and retinoid X receptors. Retinoids (vitamin A and its analogs) are essential dietary substances that are needed by mammals for reproduction, normal embryogenesis, growth, vision, and maintaining normal cellular differentiation and the integrity of the immune system. Within cells, retinoids regulate gene transcription acting through ligand-dependent transcription factors, the retinoic acid receptors (RARs), and the retinoid X receptors (RXRs). All-trans-retinoic acid binds only to RARs with high affinity, whereas its 9-cis isomer binds with high affinity to both RARs and RXRs. The actions of all-trans- and 9-cis-retinoic acid in regulating cellular responses are distinct and not interchangeable. (PMID: 9115228) [HMDB]

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