Retinoic acid regulates cell cycle genes and accelerates normal mouse liver regeneration

Hui Xin Liu, Irene Ly, Ying Hu, Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


All-trans retinoic acid (RA) is a potent inducer of regeneration. Because the liver is the principal site for storage and bioactivation of vitamin A, the current study examines the effect of RA in mouse hepatocyte proliferation and liver regeneration. Mice that received a single dose of RA (25 μg/g) by oral gavage developed hepatomegaly with increased number of Ki67-positive cells and induced expression of cell cycle genes in the liver. DNA binding data revealed that RA receptors retinoic acid receptor β (RARβ) and retinoid x receptor α (RXRα) bound to cell cycle genes Cdk1, Cdk2, Cyclin B, Cyclin E, and Cdc25a in mice with and without RA treatment. In addition, RA treatment induced novel binding of RARβ/RXRα to Cdk1, Cdk2, Cyclin D, and Cdk6 genes. All RARβ/RXRα binding sites contained AGGTCA-like motifs. RA treatment also promoted liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH). RA signaling was implicated in normal liver regeneration as the mRNA levels of RARβ, Aldh1a2, Crabp1, and Crbp1 were all induced 1.5 days after PH during the active phase of hepatocyte proliferation. RA treatment prior to PH resulted in early up-regulation of RARβ, Aldh1a2, Crabp1, and Crbp1, which was accompanied by an early induction of cell cycle genes. Western blotting for RARβ, c-myc, Cyclin D, E, and A further supported the early induction of retinoid signal and cell proliferation by RA treatment. Taken together, our data suggest that RA may regulate cell cycle progression and accelerates liver regeneration. Such effect is associated with an early induction of RA signaling, which includes increased expression of the receptor, binding proteins, and processing enzyme for retinoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2014


  • Hepatocyte
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Partial hepatectomy
  • Proliferation
  • Retinoic acid receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Retinoic acid regulates cell cycle genes and accelerates normal mouse liver regeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this