Retinoic Acid - Biosynthesis


Retinoic acid can be produced in the body by two sequential oxidation steps that convert retinol to retinaldehyde to retinoic acid, but once produced it cannot be reduced again to retinol. The enzymes that generate retinoic acid for control of gene expression include retinol dehydrogenases (i.e. Rdh10) that metabolize retinol to retinaldehyde, and retinaldehyde dehydrogenases: RALHD1 (ALHD1A1), RALHD2 (ALHD1A2), and RALHD3 (ALHD1A3) that metabolize retinaldehyde to retinoic acid. Enzymes that metabolize excess retinol to prevent toxicity include alcohol dehydrogenase and cytochrome P450(cyp26).

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Biosynthesis (also called biogenesis or "anabolism") is an enzyme-catalyzed process in cells of living organisms by which substrates are converted to more complex products. The biosynthesis process often consists of several enzymatic steps in which the product of one step is used as substrate in the following step. Examples for such multi-step biosynthetic pathways are those for the production of amino acids, fatty acids, and natural products. Biosynthesis plays a major role in all cells, and many dedicated metabolic routes combined constitute general metabolism.

The prerequisites for biosynthesis are precursor compounds, chemical energy (such as in the form ATP), and catalytic enzymes, which may require reduction equivalents (e.g., in the form of NADH, NADPH).

Commonly known complex products of biosynthesis include proteins, vitamins, and antibiotics. Most organic compounds in living organisms are built in biosynthetic pathways.