Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Molecular Cancer


Geisel School of Medicine


The use of retinoids as anti-cancer agents has been limited due to resistance and low efficacy. The dynamics of nuclear receptor coregulation are incompletely understood. Cell-and context-specific activities of nuclear receptors may be in part due to distinct coregulator complexes recruited to distinct subsets of target genes. RIP140 (also called NRIP1) is a ligand-dependent corepressor that is inducible with retinoic acid (RA). We had previously shown that RIP140 limits RA induced tumor cell differentiation of embryonal carcinoma; the pluriopotent stem cells of testicular germ cell tumors. This implies that RIP140 represses key genes required for RA-mediated tumor cell differentiation. Identification of these genes would be of considerable interest. To begin to address this issue, microarray technology was employed to elucidate in a de novo fashion the global role of RIP140 in RA target gene regulation of embryonal carcinoma. Subclasses of genes were affected by RIP140 in distinct manners.Interestingly, approximately half of the RA-dependent genes were unaffected by RIP140. Hence, RIP140 appears to discriminate between different classes of RA target genes. In general, RIP140-dependent gene expression was consistent with RIP140 functioning to limit RA signaling and tumor cell differentiation. Few if any genes were regulated in a manner to support a role for RIP140 in "active repression". We also demonstrated that RIP140 silencing sensitizes embryonal carcinoma cells to low doses of RA. Together the data demonstrates that RIP140 has profound effects on RA-mediated gene expression in this cancer stem cell model. The RIP140-dependent RA target genes identified here may be particularly important in mediating RA-induced tumor cell differentiation and the findings suggest that RIP140 may be an attractive target to sensitize tumor cells to retinoid-based differentiation therapy. We discuss these data in the context of proposed models of RIP140-mediated repression.



Original Citation

Heim KC, White KA, Deng D, Tomlinson CR, Moore JH, Freemantle SJ, Spinella MJ. Selective repression of retinoic acid target genes by RIP140 during induced tumor cell differentiation of pluripotent human embryonal carcinoma cells. Mol Cancer. 2007 Sep 19;6:57. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-6-57. PMID: 17880687; PMCID: PMC2034384.