Broad tissue expression of membrane progesterone receptor Alpha in normal mice.
ABSTRACT The broad tissue distribution of membrane progesterone receptor alpha (mPRalpha) in vertebrates suggests multiple physiological functions of the receptor. Current knowledge regarding the receptor distribution, however, is largely obtained via non-histological assays. In this study, the tissue distribution of mPRalpha in mice of both sexes was described using both histological and non-histological methods. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that abundant expression of mPRalpha was consistently detected in the cytoplasm and membrane of smooth muscles in vasculatures, gastro-intestines, and uterus. It was also observed in myoepithelial cells of mammary gland and intra-ovarian myofibroblasts. These findings suggest that mPRalpha may function as a mediator of P4 in regulating function of smooth muscles or smooth muscle-like cells in numerous physiological processes such as vasodilation, transportation of contents within luminary organs, relaxation of the uterine myometrium during pregnancy, release of oocytes, and milk secretion. In addition, strong mPRalpha expression was identified in the parietal cells of gastric glands, indicating the potential roles of P4/mPRalpha signaling in the modulation of gastric acid secretion. Surprisingly, in the testis of male mice mPRalpha was mainly seen in the nuclei, rather than cytoplasm and/or membrane, of the primary and secondary spermatocytes, suggesting a direct role of the receptor in gene regulation. Our results indicate that mPRalpha may function as a key modulator of P4 in the modulation of multiple physiological functions in normal mice.
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ABSTRACT: Although several studies have reported the localization of membrane progesterone (P(4)) receptors (mPR) in various tissues, few have attempted to describe the distribution and regulation of these receptors in the brain. In the present study, we investigated expression of two mPR subtypes, mPRα and mPRβ, within regions of the brain, known to express estradiol (E(2))-dependent [preoptic area (POA) and hypothalamus] and independent (cortex) classical progestin receptors. Saturation binding and Scatchard analyses on plasma membranes prepared from rat cortex, hypothalamus, and POA demonstrated high-affinity, specific P(4)-binding sites characteristic of mPR. Using quantitative RT-PCR, we found that mPRβ mRNA was expressed at higher levels than mPRα, indicating that mPRβ may be the primary mPR subtype in the rat brain. We also mapped the distribution of mPRβ protein using immunohistochemistry. The mPRβ-immunoreactive neurons were highly expressed in select nuclei of the hypothalamus (paraventricular nucleus, ventromedial hypothalamus, and arcuate nucleus), forebrain (medial septum and horizontal diagonal band), and midbrain (oculomotor and red nuclei) and throughout many areas of the cortex and thalamus. Treatment of ovariectomized female rats with E(2) benzoate increased mPRβ immunoreactivity within the medial septum but not the medial POA, horizontal diagonal band, or oculomotor nucleus. Together, these findings demonstrate a wide distribution of mPRβ in the rodent brain that may contribute to functions affecting behavioral, endocrine, motor, and sensory systems. Furthermore, E(2) regulation of mPRβ indicates a mechanism through which estrogens can regulate P(4) function within discrete brain regions to potentially impact behavior.Endocrinology 07/2012; 153(9):4432-43. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Classically, the actions of progesterone (P4) are attributed to the binding of nuclear progesterone receptor (PR) and subsequent activation of its downstream target genes. These mechanisms, however, are not applicable to PR- or basal phenotype breast cancer (BPBC) due to lack of PR in these cancers. Recently, the function of membrane progesterone receptor alpha (mPRα) in human BPBC cell lines was studied in our lab. We proposed that the signaling cascades of P4→mPRα pathway may play an essential role in controlling cell proliferation and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer. Using human breast cancer tissue microarrays, we found in this study that the average intensity of mPRα expression, but not percentage of breast cancer with high level of mPRα expression (mPRα-HiEx), was significantly lower in the TNM stage 4 patients compared to those with TNM 1-3 patients; and both average intensities of mPRα expression and mPRα-HiEx rates were significantly higher in cancers negative for ER, as compared with those cancers with ER+. However, after adjusting for age at diagnosis and/or TNM stage, only average intensities of mPRα expression were associated with ER status. In addition, we found that the rates of mPRα-HiEx were significantly higher in cancers with epithelial growth factor receptor-1 (EGFR+) and high level of Ki67 expression, indicating positive correlation between mPRα over expression and EGFR or Ki67. Further analysis indicated that both mPRα-HiEx rate and average intensity of mPRα expression were significantly higher in HER2+ subtype cancers (i.e. HER2+ER-PR-) as compared to ER+ subtype cancers. These data support our hypothesis that P4 modulates the activities of the PI3K and cell proliferation pathways through the caveolar membrane bound growth factor receptors such as mPRα and growth factor receptors. Future large longitudinal studies with larger sample size and survival outcomes are necessary to confirm our findings.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35198. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Three members of the progestin and adipoQ receptor (PAQR) family, PAQR-7, PAQR-8, and PAQR-5 [membrane progesterone (P4) receptor (PR) (mPR)α, mPRβ, and mPRγ], function as plasma mPRs coupled to G proteins in mammalian cells, but the characteristics of two other members, PAQR6 and PAQR9 (mPRδ and mPRε), remain unclear, because they have only been investigated in yeast expression systems. Here, we show that recombinant human mPRδ and mPRε expressed in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells display specific, saturable, high-affinity [(3)H]-P4 binding on the plasma membranes of transfected cells with equilibrium dissociation constants (K(d)s) of 2.71 and 2.85 nm, respectively, and low affinity for R5020, characteristics typical of mPRs. P4 treatment increased cAMP production as well as [(35)S]-guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP)γS binding to transfected cell membranes, which was immunoprecipitated with a stimulatory G protein antibody, suggesting both mPRδ and mPRε activate a stimulatory G protein (Gs), unlike other mPRs, which activate an inhibitory G protein (Gi). All five mPR mRNAs were detected in different regions of the human brain, but mPRδ showed greatest expression in many regions, including the forebrain, hypothalamus, amygdala, corpus callosum, and spinal cord, whereas mPRε was abundant in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Allopregnanolone and other neurosteroids bound to mPRδ and other mPRs and acted as agonists, activating second messengers and decreased starvation-induced cell death and apoptosis in mPRδ-transfected cells and in hippocampal neuronal cells at low nanomolar concentrations. The results suggest that mPRδ and mPRε function as mPRs coupled to G proteins and are potential intermediaries of nonclassical antiapoptotic actions of neurosteroids in the central nervous system.Endocrinology 11/2012; · 4.72 Impact Factor