The molecular aspects of absorption and metabolism of carotenoids and retinoids in vertebrates.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids, Volume 1865, Issue 11, p.158571 (2020)


<p>Vitamin A is an essential nutrient necessary for numerous basic physiological functions, including reproduction and development, immune cell differentiation and communication, as well as the perception of light. To evade the dire consequences of vitamin A deficiency, vertebrates have evolved specialized metabolic pathways that enable the absorption, transport, and storage of vitamin A acquired from dietary sources as preformed retinoids or provitamin A carotenoids. This evolutionary advantage requires a complex interplay between numerous specialized retinoid-transport proteins, receptors, and enzymes. Recent advances in molecular and structural biology resulted in a rapid expansion of our understanding of these processes at the molecular level. This progress opened new avenues for the therapeutic manipulation of retinoid homeostasis. In this review, we summarize current research related to the biochemistry of carotenoid and retinoid-processing proteins with special emphasis on the structural aspects of their physiological actions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Carotenoids recent advances in cell and molecular biology edited by Johannes von Lintig and Loredana Quadro.</p>