Vitamin A, Cancer Treatment and Prevention: The New Role of Cellular Retinol Binding ProteinsReport as inadecuate

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BioMed Research International - Volume 2015 2015, Article ID 624627, 14 pages -

Review ArticleAnatomic Pathology, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, Tor Vergata University, Via Montpellier, 00133 Rome, Italy

Received 20 June 2014; Revised 7 August 2014; Accepted 9 August 2014

Academic Editor: Shun-Fa Yang

Copyright © 2015 Elena Doldo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Retinol and vitamin A derivatives influence cell differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis and play an important physiologic role in a wide range of biological processes. Retinol is obtained from foods of animal origin. Retinol derivatives are fundamental for vision, while retinoic acid is essential for skin and bone growth. Intracellular retinoid bioavailability is regulated by the presence of specific cytoplasmic retinol and retinoic acid binding proteins CRBPs and CRABPs. CRBP-1, the most diffuse CRBP isoform, is a small 15 KDa cytosolic protein widely expressed and evolutionarily conserved in many tissues. CRBP-1 acts as chaperone and regulates the uptake, subsequent esterification, and bioavailability of retinol. CRBP-1 plays a major role in wound healing and arterial tissue remodelling processes. In the last years, the role of CRBP-1-related retinoid signalling during cancer progression became object of several studies. CRBP-1 downregulation associates with a more malignant phenotype in breast, ovarian, and nasopharyngeal cancers. Reexpression of CRBP-1 increased retinol sensitivity and reduced viability of ovarian cancer cells in vitro. Further studies are needed to explore new therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring CRBP-1-mediated intracellular retinol trafficking and the meaning of CRBP-1 expression in cancer patients’ screening for a more personalized and efficacy retinoid therapy.

Author: Elena Doldo, Gaetana Costanza, Sara Agostinelli, Chiara Tarquini, Amedeo Ferlosio, Gaetano Arcuri, Daniela Passeri, Maria G



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