What is the Molecular Basis for Vitamin A Uptake & Storage in Vertebrates?

Research Paper Title

Molecular Basis for Vitamin A Uptake and Storage in Vertebrates.


The ability to store and distribute vitamin A inside the body is the main evolutionary adaptation that allows vertebrates to maintain retinoid functions during nutritional deficiencies and to acquire new metabolic pathways enabling light-independent production of 11-cis retinoids.

These processes greatly depend on enzymes that esterify vitamin A as well as associated retinoid binding proteins

Although the significance of retinyl esters for vitamin A homeostasis is well established, until recently, the molecular basis for the retinol esterification enzymatic activity was unknown.

In this review, the researchers look at retinoid absorption through the prism of current biochemical and structural studies on vitamin A esterifying enzymes.

They describe molecular adaptations that enable retinoid storage and delineate mechanisms in which mutations found in selective proteins might influence vitamin A homeostasis in affected patients.


Chelstowska, S., Widjaja-Adhi M.A., Silvaroli, J.A. & Golczak, M. (2016) Molecular Basis for Vitamin A Uptake and Storage in Vertebrates. Nutrients. 8(11), pii: E676.


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