Stimulatory effect of progesterone on the expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein in MA-10 Leydig cells.
ABSTRACT The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), by virtue of its ability to facilitate the intramitochondrial transport of cholesterol, plays an important role in regulating steroid hormone biosynthesis in steroidogenic cells. In agreement with published data, both StAR expression and progesterone production in MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells could be stimulated with hCG and 8Br-cAMP. Addition of aminoglutethimide, an inhibitor of cholesterol side chain cleavage (P450(scc)) enzyme, not only resulted in a drastic inhibition of progesterone production but also in an attenuation of StAR expression in response to either hCG or 8-Br-cAMP. Therefore, we addressed the question of whether progesterone, the end product of the steroidogenic cascade in these cells, could be in a position to regulate the StAR gene expression. In MA-10 cells, we report here that progesterone in microgram amounts can induce StAR gene expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner. StAR expression in response to a maximally effective concentration of progesterone of 10 microg/ml was highest at 6 h and started decreasing thereafter. The effect of progesterone on StAR protein and StAR mRNA induction was mimicked by its synthetic analog, progestin R5020, but not by other steroids, including dexamethasone, estradiol, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone. Dexamethasone, in contrast, was able to inhibit StAR expression in MA-10 cells. Surprisingly, RU486, a potent antagonist of progesterone and glucocorticoid action, had a stimulatory effect on StAR mRNA levels. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated the absence of the classical form of progesterone receptor in MA-10 cells. Thus, for the first time, a direct stimulatory effect of a steroid on StAR gene expression has been demonstrated. Furthermore, these results provide a new insight, indicating that progesterone mediates the activation of StAR expression exerted presumably through a novel, nonclassical progesterone receptor in mouse Leydig cells.
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ABSTRACT: Fractionation of bovine corpus luteum (CL) homogenates on continuous sucrose density gradients with and without preincubation with 3H-progesterone demonstrated high levels of tracer binding and high content of endogenous progesterone associated with particulate membrane fractions. Analysis of gradient fractions for a range of luteal plasma membrane and intracellular organelle marker enzyme activities indicated that endogenous progesterone content and 3H-progesterone-binding activity were associated with fractions enriched in luteal plasma membrane markers. This was confirmed by pretreatment of homogenates with the saponin, digitonin, prior to fractionation. Digitonin perturbed the buoyant density of luteal surface membrane markers and 3H-progesterone binding to a similar extent, but did not perturb the buoyant densities of other intracellular markers to the same degree. Interestingly, digitonin pretreatment also increased the proportion of progesterone tracer that entered the gradients. We consistently failed to demonstrate significant binding of 3H-progesterone to membrane fractions incubated with progesterone tracer in vitro. However, when digitonin was included in the in vitro binding assay, we observed a dramatic, dose-dependent stimulation of 3H-progesterone binding by digitonin. Other radiolabeled steroids tested (3H-cortisol, 3H-testosterone) bound poorly in the presence or absence of digitonin. 3H-Progesterone binding in the presence of optimal digitonin concentrations increased linearly with increasing luteal membrane concentration; was dependent on the pH, duration, and temperature of incubation; and low levels of progesterone (68 nM) competed for tracer binding. A range of other steroids tested (androgens, estrogens, corticosteroids, steroid precursors) competed at higher concentrations (10- to 100-fold) or did not compete at all for 3H-progesterone binding. There was no correlation between the hydrophobicity of various steroids and their ability to compete for binding. Moreover, a number of agonists and antagonists specific for the genomic progesterone receptor, agonists of peripheral benzodiazepine receptors, and inhibitors of a range of steroidogenic enzymes did not compete for 3H-progesterone binding. Western blots confirmed that detergent-solubilized progesterone-binding sites could be resolved from cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Moreover, extraction of bound steroid from the binding site and HPLC demonstrated identity to progesterone, suggesting that no metabolism of the progesterone tracer had occurred during incubation. Progesterone binding to membranes of large luteal cells was higher compared with binding to small luteal cells, and levels were similar in membranes prepared from CL at all stages of the luteal phase. We suggest that bovine luteal progesterone-binding sites may play a role either in sequestration of newly synthesized progesterone or in the mediation of autocrine and/or paracrine actions of progesterone in the CL.Biology of Reproduction 07/1998; 58(6):1394-406. · 4.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The progesterone (P) antagonist RU486 (RU) both lowers and raises P secretion by an apparently direct action on the corpus luteum. P receptors, however, exist in more than one form, and under certain conditions of P's target tissues, RU can act as a P agonist when bound to one of them. RU's paradoxical effects, therefore, may support the theory that P stimulates its own secretion since the conditions under which RU raises P secretion are always different from those in which it lowers it. These effects, however, occur in at least one species, the rat, in which luteal P receptors cannot be found, and there are several excellent reasons to think that the autocrine action of P in no way resembles its action in its target tissues. The system through which P controls its own secretion in all mammals, in other words, is still undiscovered.Biology of Reproduction 08/1996; 55(1):1-4. · 4.03 Impact Factor
Article: On the mechanism of action of ACTH.Recent Progress in Hormone Research 02/1971; 27:433-78.