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Evolution of the retinoic acid receptor

Abstract : Retinoic acid (RA) is a fat-soluble morphogen derived from vitamin A that controls key cellular and developmental processes in chordates. In vertebrates, the major actors of the RA signaling pathway are the retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and the retinoid X receptors (RXRs). The evolution of RAR is still poorly understood, however, recently RARs have been identified in the genome of non-chordate species, suggesting that RAR and the RA pathway might have a more ancient evolutionary origin than previously thought. The work presented in this manuscript allowed us to retrace the evolutionary history of RAR from its origin in Urbilateria to its diversification following whole genome duplication events in vertebrates. We describe the characterization of the RARs from an annelid, a mollusk and a sea urchin. We showed that the receptors from the annelid and the sea urchin are functional RARs, however, the receptor from the mollusk is not functional with RA. Studies carried out in the annelid revealed that the signaling pathways regulated by RA in this species are different to the ones it regulates in vertebrates. These observations raise questions about the function of RA and RAR on the embryonic development of non-chordate species and their possible function in Urbilateria. Finally, the molecular characterization of cyclostome RARs allowed us to characterize the impact of whole genome duplications on the evolution of the ligand-binding pocket. Altogether, these data will allow us to better understand the relationship between the receptor and its ligand and to reveal novel insights on the function of RAR in response to non-classical ligands.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:44:00 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03408783, version 1


Juliana Gutierrez-Mazariegos. Evolution of the retinoic acid receptor. Embryology and Organogenesis. Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 2014. English. ⟨tel-03408783⟩



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