[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human growth hormone receptor (GHR) transcripts have two isoforms, full-length (GHRfl) or exon 3 deleted (GHRd3). An association of these isoforms has been found with small for gestational age (SGA) infants but does not influence adult height. The role of this polymorphism in the birth size spectrum in the general population is unclear.
To determine the association of maternal and infants GHR exon 3 polymorphism with antenatal growth, birth size and early postnatal growth in two large, normal white European birth cohorts.
Pregnant women from white European families were recruited by the University College London Foetal Growth Study (n = 774) and the Moore normal pregnancy cohort (n = 274). GHR variants, wild-type (fl) and deleted for exon 3 (d3) were analysed using multiplex PCR.
There was a significant underrepresentation of infants wild-type fl/fl (36%) and overrepresentation of d3/d3 (14%) genotypes in the SGA infants within the cohorts (χ(2) = 11·2, P = 0·003, df = 2). Fl/fl was overrepresented in large for gestational age (LGA) infants (χ(2) = 6·1, P = 0·047, df = 2). There was a significant association of infants GHR isoforms with placental weight (P < 0·001) and birth weight standard deviation scores (P = 0·04) with the fl/fl genotype associated with a larger placental and birth weight. In multiple regression analysis, the GHR isoform type, maternal booking weight and parity influenced placental weight (R(2) = ·35; P < 0·001, df = 7). The GHR isoform type was not related to antenatal anthropometric measurements or growth in infancy.
These data suggest that the GHR isoforms are associated with placental and birth weight.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1, NR5A1, Ad4BP) is a master regulator of adrenal development and steroidogenesis. Defects in several known targets of SF-1 can cause adrenal disorders in humans.
We aimed to identify novel targets of SF-1 in the human adrenal. These factors could be important regulators of adrenal development and steroidogenesis and potential candidates for adrenal dysfunction.
A gene discovery strategy was developed based on bidirectional manipulation of SF-1. Overexpression or knockdown of SF-1 in NCI-H295R human adrenocortical cells was used to identify a subset of positively-regulated SF-1 targets.
This approach identified well-established SF-1 target genes (STAR, CYP11A) and several novel genes (VSNL1, ZIM2, PEG3, SOAT1, and MTSS1). Given its role in cholesterol metabolism, sterol O-acyltransferase 1 (SOAT1, previously referred to as acyl-Coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase 1, ACAT) was studied further and found to be expressed in the developing human fetal adrenal cortex. We hypothesized that impaired SOAT1 activity could result in adrenal insufficiency through reduced cholesteryl ester reserves or through toxic destruction of the adrenal cells during development. Therefore, mutational analysis of SOAT1 in a cohort of 43 patients with unexplained adrenal insufficiency was performed but failed to reveal significant coding sequence changes.
Our reverse discovery approach led to the identification of novel SF-1 targets and defined SOAT1 as an important factor in human adrenal steroidogenesis. SF-1-dependent up-regulation of SOAT1 may be important for maintaining readily-releasable cholesterol reserves needed for active steroidogenesis and during episodes of recurrent stress.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 02/2011; 96(4):E663-8. DOI:10.1210/jc.2010-2021 · 6.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disorders of adrenal development result in significant morbidity and mortality. However, the molecular basis of human adrenal development, and many forms of disease, is still poorly understood.
We evaluated the role of two new candidate genes, CBP/p300-interacting transactivator, with Glu/Asp-rich C-terminal domain, 2 (CITED2), and pre-B-cell leukemia transcription factor 1 (PBX1), in human adrenal development and disease.
CITED2 and PBX1 expression in early human fetal adrenal development was assessed using RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The regulation of CITED2 and PBX1 by steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) and dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia congenital, critical region on the X chromosome, gene-1 (DAX1) was evaluated in NCI-H295R human adrenocortical tumor cells by studying promoter regulation. Finally, mutational analysis of CITED2 and PBX1 was performed in patients with primary adrenal disorders.
CITED2 and PBX1 are expressed in the human fetal adrenal gland during early development. Both genes are activated by SF-1 in a dose-dependent manner in NCI-H295R cells, and, surprisingly, PBX1 is synergistically activated by SF-1 and DAX1. Mutational analysis failed to reveal significant coding sequence changes in individuals with primary adrenal disorders.
CITED2 and PBX1 are likely to be important mediators of adrenal development and function in humans, but mutations in these genes are not common causes of adrenal failure in patients in whom a molecular diagnosis remains unknown. The positive interaction between DAX1 and SF-1 in regulating PBX1 may be an important mechanism in this process.