Document Type


Publication Date



A retinoic acid binding protein isolated from the lumen of the rat epididymis (ERABP) is a member of the lipocalin superfamily. ERABP binds both the all-trans and 9-cis isomers of retinoic acid, as well as the synthetic retinoid (E)-4-[2-(5,6,7,8)-tetrahydro-5,5,8,8-tetramethyl-2 napthalenyl-1 propenyl]-benzoic acid (TTNPB), a structural analog of all-trans retinoic acid. The structure of ERABP with a mixture of all-trans and 9-cis retinoic acid has previously been reported. To elucidate any structural differences in the protein when bound to the all-trans and 9-cis isomers, the structures of all-trans retinoic acid-ERABP and 9-cis retinoic acid ERABP were determined. Our results indicate that the all-trans isomer of retinoic acid adopts an 8- cis structure in the binding cavity with no concomitant conformational change in the protein. The structure of TTNPB-ERABP is also reported herein. To accommodate this all-trans analog, which cannot readily adopt a cis-like structure, alternative positioning of critical binding site side chains is required. Consequently, both protein and ligand adaption are observed in the formation of the various holo-proteins.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Protein Science

First Page


Last Page