Research Article

A Membrane Receptor for Retinol Binding Protein Mediates Cellular Uptake of Vitamin A

Science  09 Feb 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5813, pp. 820-825
DOI: 10.1126/science.1136244

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Abstract

Vitamin A has diverse biological functions. It is transported in the blood as a complex with retinol binding protein (RBP), but the molecular mechanism by which vitamin A is absorbed by cells from the vitamin A–RBP complex is not clearly understood. We identified in bovine retinal pigment epithelium cells STRA6, a multitransmembrane domain protein, as a specific membrane receptor for RBP. STRA6 binds to RBP with high affinity and has robust vitamin A uptake activity from the vitamin A–RBP complex. It is widely expressed in embryonic development and in adult organ systems. The RBP receptor represents a major physiological mediator of cellular vitamin A uptake.

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