ISX is a retinoic acid-sensitive gatekeeper that controls intestinal β,β-carotene absorption and vitamin A production

Glenn P. Lobo, Susanne Hessel, Anne Eichinger, Noa Noy, Alexander R. Moise, Adrian Wyss, Krzysztof Palczewski, Johannes Von Lintig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


The uptake of dietary lipids from the small intestine is a complex process that depends on the activities of specific membrane receptors with yet unknown regulatory mechanisms. Using both mouse models and human cell lines, we show here that intestinal lipid absorption by the scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-BI) is subject to control by retinoid signaling. Retinoic acid via retinoic acid receptors induced expression of the intestinal transcription factor ISX. ISX then repressed the expression of SR-B1 and the carotenoid-15,15′- oxygenase Bcmo1. BCMO1 acts downstream of SR-BI and converts absorbed β,β-carotene to the retinoic acid precursor, retinaldehyde. Using BCMO1-knockout mice, we demonstrated increased intestinal SR-BI expression and systemic β,β-carotene accumulation. SR-BI-dependent accumulation of β,β-carotene was prevented by dietary retinoids that induced ISX expression. Thus, our study revealed a diet-responsive regulatory network that controls β,β-carotene absorption and vitamin A production by negative feedback regulation. The role of SR-BI in the intestinal absorption of other dietary lipids, including cholesterol, fatty acids, and tocopherols, implicates retinoid signaling in the regulation of lipid absorption more generally and has clinical implications for diseases associated with dyslipidemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1656-1666
Number of pages11
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotenoids
  • Nuclear receptors
  • Retinoids
  • Scavenger receptors


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