• retinoic acid;
  • retinaldehyde;
  • aldehyde dehydrogenase;
  • retinaldehyde dehydrogenase;
  • P19 teratocarcinoma cells


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. References

Retinoic acid, a developmental signal implicated in the formation of the neural axis, is present at high levels in the early embryonic trunk region, where it is synthesized by a novel dehydrogenase. Here we show that the same enzyme is inducible by retinoic acid in P19 teratocarcinoma cells, and we report the cloning from P19 cells of a cDNA encoding a novel dehydrogenase, named retinaldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (RALDH-2). Expression in COS cells shows RALDH-2 to be highly effective in oxidation of retinaldehyde, with no detectable activity on any other aldehyde tested. In situ hybridization histochemistry on the embryonic trunk reveales RALDH-2 mRNA both in mesoderm and neuroectoderm, with highest neuroectodermal expression in the ventral horn of the spinal cord at two restricted locations along the anteroposterior axis, presumably the subpopulation of motoneurons that innervate the limbs.


murine class 1 aldehyde dehydrogenase


cellular retinoic-acid binding protein


Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium


embryonic day 10, with day of conception defined as E0

P19 cells

a murine teratocarcinojna cell line


retinaldehyde dehydrogenase


retinal pigment epithelium


reverse transcription


Aldehyde dehydrogenase (EC


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. References
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