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Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Cytosol Retinoid Binding Proteins in Human Skin

By John J. Digiovanna, R. Theodore Fletcher and Gerald J. Chader


The distribution of the cytosol retinol and retinoic acid binding proteins are known to vary greatly within the different layers of the eye, a retinoid target organ. We have analyzed the cytosol retinoid binding from adult human skin, another retinoid target organ, and examined the relative contribution of the epidermis and dermis to the total retinoid binding. The mean specific activity of [3H]retinol (0.52 ± 0.06 pmol/mg protein) and [3H]retinoic acid (3.20 ± 0.45 pmol/mg protein) binding to cytosol preparations from different specimens of adult human skin was determined. On the ayerage these skins bound 7-fold more retinoic acid than retinol. When skin was treated with EDTA and separated into epidermal and dermal fractions, [3H]retinol and [3H]retinoic acid binding was found in the cytosol derived from epidermis (0.36 ±0.03 pmol/mg protein, 3.69 ± 0.13 pmol/mg protein, respectively) but not from dermis. To confirm that the absence of dermal binding was not due to loss during the EDTA separation, we assayed skin keratomed at 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 mm. The skin obtained at 0.1 mm was upper epidermis and exhibited binding for both retinol and retinoid acid. The 0.2 mm skin, which added lower epidermis but little dermal contamination, had higher specific activities for both retinol and retinoic acid binding. The 0.3 mm skin which added primarily dermis, had lower specific activities for binding both retinoids. This is consistent with the concept that the epidermis is responsible for the majority of retinoid binding in adult human skin obtained from the lower limb

Publisher: The Society for Investigative Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Year: 1985
DOI identifier: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12277185
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