[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about genes that contribute to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We previously found linkage and association of PCOS with the dinucleotide marker D19S884 in two independent sets of families; allele 8 of D19S884 confers increased risk.
The objectives of the study were: 1) use the transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) to assess linkage and association between PCOS and D19S884 (and nearby markers) in a third set of families; and 2) test D19S884 and surrounding DNA sequence for in vitro regulatory activity in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and granulosa cells.
We studied 98 new families with a PCOS proband, father, mother, and other available offspring. We analyzed data from these families separately and in combination with data obtained previously.
Interventions were venipuncture.
Measures were transmission frequencies and in vitro functional studies.
The first result we found was that in the 98 new families, the TDT was significant for allele 8 of D19S884 (P = 0.043). In the total collection of 465 families, the TDT evidence is very strong (nominal P < 7 x 10(-5)). Results for all other genetic markers near D19S884 were nonsignificant after correction for multiple testing. The second result was that an approximately 800-bp fragment containing various alleles of D19S884 showed modest but reproducible promoter activity in LCLs. However, no allelic differences were detected. No activity of this fragment was detected in granulosa cells.
This is the second independent confirmation of linkage and association of D19S884 with PCOS. We found in addition that some sequence in the region of D19S884 confers in vitro promoter activity in LCLs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that is believed to have a genetic basis. However, no specific susceptibility gene or region has been conclusively identified.
The objective of this study was to duplicate a previous study that localized a PCOS susceptibility region to chromosome 19p13.2 and to narrow the susceptibility region.
This study was designed to test for genetic linkage and association between PCOS and short tandem repeat polymorphisms in 367 families, by analysis of linkage and family-based association.
The study was conducted at academic medical centers.
We studied 367 families of predominantly European origin with at least one PCOS patient. Families included 107 affected sibling (sister) pairs (ASPs) in 83 families, and 390 trios with both parents and an affected daughter. The data set comprises two independent groups. Set 1 consists of 44 ASPs and 163 trios. Set 2 consists of 63 ASPs and 227 trios.
The intervention was the drawing of blood for DNA extraction.
We employed measures of evidence for linkage and association between PCOS and 19 STRs.
Linkage with PCOS was observed over a broad region of chromosome 19p13.2. The strongest evidence for association was observed with D19S884 (chi2 = 11.85; nominal P < 0.0006; permutation P = 0.034) and duplicated our earlier findings.
The present analysis suggests that a PCOS susceptibility locus maps very close to D19S884. Additional studies that systematically characterize DNA sequence variation in the immediate area of D19S884 are required to identify the PCOS susceptibility variant.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An ectopic pregnancy (EP) occurs when implantation of the embryo occurs outside of the uterus. If left untreated, the developing fetus will continue to grow, leading to life-threatening consequences for the mother. A major difficulty with the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is that methods of detection are limited, and some, such as ultrasound, are not very reliable in the earliest days of gestation. Currently, no effective serum test exists to distinguish an ectopic pregnancy from a normal intrauterine pregnancy. The incidence of ectopic pregnancy is increasing and has doubled in the last 20 years. It is now the second most common cause of maternal death in the first trimester of pregnancy. To address this issue, we initiated a project to identify serum markers of ectopic pregnancy. The subjects for these studies presented at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. We obtained over 140 serum samples from women with suspected ectopic pregnancy: women presenting with pain and/or bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. The approximate racial breakdown of the subjects is as follows: African American, 36%; Caucasian, 3%; Asian, 2%; Hispanic, 1%; unknown, 58%. Serum samples from 139 women (62 with ectopic pregnancy and 77 with a normal intrauterine pregnancy) were applied to WCX2 (weak ion exchange) protein chip surfaces and analyzed for serum markers using surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS). Several proteins in the 7500-18,000 Da mass range were identified that may discriminate an ectopic pregnancy from an intrauterine pregnancy. The most promising markers were analyzed using classification and regression tree analysis (CART) with and without clinical variables (serum hCG value, length of amenorrhea). Two different algorithms were developed that classify the patients on the basis of sensitivity (number of EPs who screen positive/# of EPs) or specificity (# of healthy patients who screen negative/# of healthy). Our current approach is to refine these two "rule sets" to segregate patients into three groups: those who need immediate intervention for a probable ectopic pregnancy, those who appear to have a normal pregnancy, and those who need further monitoring for diagnosis.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 07/2004; 1022:306-16. · 4.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of polymorphisms in genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines that affect transcription or the secretion rate has opened new ways to understand the variation in responses to infection during pregnancy. In this study, human amniochorion carrying hyper-responsive alleles of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha: TNF*2 at -308) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta: IL-1*2 at +3953) were stimulated in vitro with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and compared with tissues carrying the common alleles (TNF*1 and IL-1*1). Fetal membranes carrying the TNF*1 allele displayed an identical dose-response pattern to tissues carrying a TNF*2 allele, except at the highest dose of LPS tested (50 ng/ml) there was a significantly greater production of TNF-alpha in the presence of a TNF*2 allele. Membranes carrying the IL-1*2 polymorphism secreted IL-1beta in a dose-response curve that was different from IL-1* tissues when challenged with 5, 10 and 50 ng/ml LPS. These observations support the hypothesis that reproductive tissues carrying hyper-responsive proinflammatory cytokine genes may over-respond to intrauterine infection secreting higher amounts of cytokines, which in turn, may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Molecular Human Reproduction 11/2003; 9(10):625-9. · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ovarian theca cells propagated from patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) convert steroid precursors into T more efficiently than normal theca cells. To identify the basis for increased T production by PCOS theca cells, we examined type I-V 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17 beta HSD) isoform expression in long-term cultures of theca and granulosa cells isolated from normal and PCOS ovaries. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that theca cells express type V 17 beta HSD a member of the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily (17 beta HSDV, AKR1C3), whereas expression of type I, II, and IV 17 beta HSD, which are members of the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily, was limited to granulosa cells. Type III 17 beta HSD, the testicular isoform, was not detected in either granulosa or theca cells. Northern and real-time PCR analyses demonstrated that 17 beta HSDV transcripts were not significantly increased in PCOS theca cells compared with normal theca cells. RT-PCR analysis revealed that theca cells also express another AKR, 20 alpha HSD (AKR1C1). Both basal and forskolin-stimulated 20 alpha HSD mRNA levels were increased in PCOS theca cells compared with normal theca cells. However, 17 beta HSD enzyme activity per theca cell was not significantly increased in PCOS, suggesting that neither AKR1C3 nor AKR1C1 contributes to the formation of T in this condition. In contrast, 17 alpha-hydroxylase/C17,20 lyase and 3 beta HSD enzyme activities were elevated in PCOS theca cells, driving increased production of T precursors. These findings indicate that 1) increased T production in PCOS theca cells does not result from dysregulation of "androgenic" 17 beta HSD activity or altered expression of AKRs that may express 17 beta HSD activity; and 2) increased synthesis of T precursors is the primary factor driving enhanced T secretion in PCOS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) mediates the rate-limiting step of steroidogenesis, delivery of cholesterol to the inner mitochondrial membrane. However, the mechanism whereby cholesterol translocation is accomplished has not been resolved. Recombinant StAR proteins lacking the first N-terminal 62 amino acids comprising the mitochondrial-targeting sequence were used to determine if StAR binds cholesterol and alters mitochondrial membrane cholesterol domains to enhance sterol transfer. First, a fluorescent NBD-cholesterol binding assay revealed 2 sterol binding sites (K(d) values near 32 nm), whereas the inactive A218V N-62 StAR mutant had only a single binding site with 8-fold lower affinity. Second, NBD-cholesterol spectral shifts and fluorescence resonance energy transfer from StAR Trp residues to NBD-cholesterol showed (i) close molecular interaction between these molecules (R(2/3) = 33 A) and (ii) sensitized NBD-cholesterol emission from only one of the two sterol binding sites. Third, circular dichroism showed that cholesterol binding induced a change in StAR secondary structure. Fourth, a fluorescent sterol transfer assay that did not require separation of donor and acceptor mitochondrial membranes demonstrated that StAR enhanced mitochondrial sterol transfer as much as 100-fold and induced/increased the formation of rapidly transferable cholesterol domains in isolated mitochondrial membranes. StAR was 67-fold more effective in transferring cholesterol from mitochondria of steroidogenic MA-10 cells than from human fibroblast mitochondria. In contrast, sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) was only 2.2-fold more effective in mediating sterol transfer from steroidogenic cell mitochondria. Taken together these data showed that StAR is a cholesterol-binding protein, preferentially enhances sterol transfer from steroidogenic cell mitochondria, and interacts with mitochondrial membranes to alter their sterol domain structure and dynamics.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2001; 276(40):36970-82. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcriptional regulation of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) determines adrenal and gonadal cell steroidogenesis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were combined with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to assess histone acetylation associated with the StAR promoter. MA-10 cells treated with 8-bromo-cAMP had increased acetylated histone H3 associated with the proximal (but not distal) StAR promoter, nascent StAR transcripts, and progesterone production within 15 min, whereas StAR mRNA increased at 30 min. At 360 min, steroidogenesis remained elevated, but mRNA, nascent RNA, and StAR promoter-associated H3 acetylation all declined. StAR promoter-associated H4 acetylation was unchanged by 8-bromo-cAMP treatment of MA-10 cells. In vivo analysis of macaque and human granulosa cells showed that luteinization was associated with increased StAR promoter-associated H3 acetylation. We conclude that acetylation of H3 (but not H4) associated with the proximal promoter is associated with StAR gene transcription, that chromatin modification occurs in discrete regions of the promoter, that the initial steroidogenic response to 8-bromo-cAMP occurs prior to increased StAR mRNA accumulation, and that MA-10 cell StAR gene transcription and promoter-associated H3 acetylation are biphasic during a 6-h treatment period. The union of the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction described and validated here should enhance the analysis of gene expression.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2001; 276(29):27392-9. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular fibronectin, which contains an alternatively spliced exon encoding type III repeat extra domain A (EDA), is produced in response to tissue injury. Fragments of fibronectin have been implicated in physiological and pathological processes, especially tissue remodeling associated with inflammation. Because EDA-containing fibronectin fragments produce cellular responses similar to those provoked by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), we examined the ability of recombinant EDA to activate Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), the signaling receptor stimulated by LPS. We found that recombinant EDA, but not other recombinant fibronectin domains, activates human TLR4 expressed in a cell type (HEK 293 cells) that normally lacks this Toll-like receptor. EDA stimulation of TLR4 was dependent upon co-expression of MD-2, a TLR4 accessory protein. Unlike LPS, the activity of EDA was heat-sensitive and persisted in the presence of the LPS-binding antibiotic polymyxin B and a potent LPS antagonist, E5564, which completely suppressed LPS activation of TLR4. These observations provided a mechanism by which EDA-containing fibronectin fragments promote expression of genes involved in the inflammatory response.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2001; 276(13):10229-33. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms and pathologic significance of placental viral infections are poorly understood. We investigated factors that regulate placental infection by adenovirus, which is the most common viral pathogen identified in fetal samples from abnormal pregnancies (i.e., fetal growth restriction, oligohydramnios, and nonimmune fetal hydrops). We also determined the pathologic significance of placental adenovirus infection. Northern hybridization, flow cytometry, and immunostaining revealed that placental expression of the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) varied with gestational age and trophoblast phenotype. The CAR was continuously expressed in invasive or extravillous trophoblast cells but not in villous trophoblast cells. We postulate that the villous syncytiotrophoblast, which does not express CAR and is resistant to adenovirus infection, limits the transplacental transmission of viral pathogens, including adenovirus. Conversely, extravillous trophoblast cells underwent apoptosis when infected by adenovirus in the presence of decidual lymphocytes (which simulated the maternal immune response to viral infection). Thus, adenovirus infection and/or the maternal immune response to adenovirus infection induced the death of placental cell types that expressed CAR. Consequently, we speculate that adenovirus infection of extra-villous trophoblast cells may negatively impact the process of placental invasion and predispose the mother and fetus to adverse reproductive outcomes that result from placental dysfunction.
Biology of Reproduction 04/2001; 64(3):1001-9. · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) protein and endocytosed low density lipoprotein (LDL)-derived cholesterol were shown to enrich separate subsets of vesicles containing lysosomal associated membrane protein 2. Localization of Rab7 in the NPC1-containing vesicles and enrichment of lysosomal hydrolases in the cholesterol-containing vesicles confirmed that these organelles were late endosomes and lysosomes, respectively. Lysobisphosphatidic acid, a lipid marker of the late endosomal pathway, was found in the cholesterol-enriched lysosomes. Recruitment of NPC1 to Rab7 compartments was stimulated by cellular uptake of cholesterol. The NPC1 compartment was shown to be enriched in glycolipids, and internalization of GalNAcbeta1-4[NeuAcalpha2-3]Galbeta1-4Glcbeta1-1'-ceramide (G(M2)) into endocytic vesicles depends on the presence of NPC1 protein. The glycolipid profiles of the NPC1 compartment could be modulated by LDL uptake and accumulation of lysosomal cholesterol. Expression in cells of biologically active NPC1 protein fused to green fluorescent protein revealed rapidly moving and flexible tubular extensions emanating from the NPC1-containing vesicles. We conclude that the NPC1 compartment is a dynamic, sterol-modulated sorting organelle involved in the trafficking of plasma membrane-derived glycolipids as well as plasma membrane and endocytosed LDL cholesterol.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2001; 276(5):3417-25. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene controls the rate-limiting step in the biogenesis of steroid hormones, delivery of cholesterol to the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme on the inner mitochondrial membrane. We determined whether the human StAR promoter is responsive to sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs). Expression of SREBP-1a stimulated StAR promoter activity in the context of COS-1 cells and human granulosa-lutein cells. In contrast, expression of SREBP-2 produced only a modest stimulation of StAR promoter activity. One of the SREBP-1a response elements in the StAR promoter was mapped in deletion constructs and by site-directed mutagenesis between nucleotides -81 to -70 from the transcription start site. This motif bound recombinant SREBPs in electrophoretic mobility shift assays, but with lesser affinity than a low density lipoprotein receptor SREBP-binding site. An additional binding site for the transcriptional modulator, yin yang 1 (YY1), was observed within the SREBP-binding site (nucleotides -73 to -70). Mutation of the YY1-binding site increased the responsiveness of the StAR promoter to exogenous SREBP-1a, but did not alter the affinity for SREBP-1a binding in electrophoretic mobility gel shift assays. Manipulations that altered endogenous mature SREBP-1a levels (e.g. culture in lipoprotein-deficient medium and addition of 27-hydroxycholesterol) did not affect StAR promoter function, but influenced low density lipoprotein receptor promoter activity. We conclude that 1) the human StAR promoter is conditionally responsive to SREBP-1a such that promoter activity is up-regulated in the presence of high levels of SREBP-1a, but is unaffected when mature SREBP levels are suppressed; and 2) the human StAR promoter is selectively responsive to SREBP-1a.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In an earlier study of 37 candidate genes for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the strongest evidence for genetic linkage was found with the region of the follistatin gene. We have now carried out studies to detect variation in the follistatin gene and assess its relevance to PCOS. By sequencing the gene in 85 members of 19 families of PCOS patients, we found sequence variants at 17 sites. Of these, 16 sites have variants that are too rare to make a major contribution to susceptibility; the only common variant is a single base pair change in the last exon at a site that is not translated. In our sample of 249 families, the evidence for linkage between PCOS and this variant is weak. We also examined the expression of the follistatin gene; messenger RNA levels in cultured fibroblasts from PCOS and control women did not differ appreciably. We conclude that contributions to the etiology of PCOS from the follistatin gene, if any, are likely to be small.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The utilization of cholesterol for steroid hormone synthesis by human placental mitochondria is poorly understood. The human placenta does not express the steroidogenic acute regulator protein, which is critical for cholesterol delivery to the cholesterol side chain cleavage system in adrenal and gonadal mitochondria. We explored the mechanism underlying cholesterol transport in human placental mitochondria by measuring its transformation into pregnenolone. Mitochondria of syncytiotrophoblast from human term placenta were isolated by centrifugation through a sucrose gradient. The synthesis of pregnenolone in the presence of exogenous cholesterol was increased two-fold in syncytiotrophoblast mitochondria. Treatment of mitochondria with trypsin prevented the increase in the synthesis of pregnenolone in the presence of exogenous cholesterol. However, when 22-OH cholesterol, a substrate that readily crosses membranes, was added, the trypsin-treated mitochondria synthesized increased amounts of pregnenolone. The trypsin-treated mitochondria were intact, since oxygen consumption, succinate dehydrogenase and the adenine nucleotide translocase activities were not significantly different from in untreated mitochondria. However, activity of NADH cytochrome c oxidoreductase, an outer mitochondrial membrane enzyme, was reduced in the trypsin-treated mitochondria, reflecting the selective degradation of proteins. In addition, SDS-PAGE analysis revealed the loss of a prominent 34 kDa band which proved to be a novel porin-like protein that binds to cholesterol. These results support our previous assumption that human placental mitochondria employ a novel protein(s)-mediated the mechanism to take up cholesterol for steroidogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the NPC1 gene cause Niemann-Pick type C disease, which is characterized by the accumulation of free cholesterol and other lipids in lysosomes. The NPC1 glycoprotein is located in a late endosomal compartment that transiently interacts with lysosomes. To identify factors regulating NPC1 expression and action, we analyzed the function of the human NPC1 promoter in human-derived ovarian, hepatic, and neuronal cells. A fragment containing the first 208 base pairs upstream from the major transcription initiation site was sufficient to drive near maximal NPC1 promoter activity. Deletion analysis revealed that sequences between base pairs -111 and -37 play an important role in controlling NPC1 transcription. Treatment of proliferating granulosa cells with 30 microM progesterone, which induces a reversible phenocopy of the cholesterol trafficking defect of Niemann-Pick type C disease, increased NPC1 mRNA levels threefold. The protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, also increased NPC1 mRNA levels, augmenting the progesterone-induced increase in NPC1 mRNA abundance. Progesterone treatment was shown to increase the mRNA half-life, but did not affect NPC1 promoter activity. Cysteine residues in a "cysteine-rich" loop predicted to reside in the intralumenal compartment of vesicles containing NPC1 were mutated, resulting in proteins that were incapable of correcting the cholesterol trafficking defect in CT60 cells, a Chinese hamster cell line in which the endogenous NPC1 gene is inactivated. Converting isoleucine 1061, also predicted to lie within the cysteine-rich loop, to a threonine residue inactivated the protein as well. The I1061T mutation is one of the most common mutations in Niemann-Pick type C disease. All of the cysteine-rich loop mutants were localized to cholesterol-engorged lysosomes in a pattern mimicking the distribution of NPC1 in progesterone-treated cells. A recombinant protein representing the cysteine-rich loop was shown to bind to a zinc-NTA agarose column. We conclude: (1) that cis elements residing in the first 111 base pairs upstream from the transcription start site are critical for transcription of the NPC1 gene; (2) that NPC1 expression is subject to posttranscriptional regulation in response to treatments that disrupt NPC1 function; and (3) that an intralumenal cysteine-rich loop with zinc-binding activity is critical to NPC1's ability to unload lysosomal cargo.
Experimental Cell Research 09/2000; 259(1):247-56. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cDNA encoding sperm antigen 6 (Spag6), the murine homologue of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii PF16 protein-a component of the flagella central apparatus-was isolated from a mouse testis cDNA library. The cDNA sequence predicted a 55.3-kDa polypeptide containing 8 contiguous armadillo repeats with 65% amino acid sequence identity and 81% similarity to the Chlamydomonas PF1 protein. An antipeptide antibody generated against a C-terminal sequence recognized a 55-kDa protein in sperm extracts and localized Spag6 to the principal piece of permeabilized mouse sperm tails. When expressed in COS-1 cells, Spag6 colocalized with microtubules. The Spag6 gene was found to be highly expressed in testis and was mapped using the T31 radiation hybrid panel to mouse chromosome 16. Mutations in the Chlamydomonas PF16 gene cause flagellar paralysis. The presence of a highly conserved mammalian PF16 homologue (Spag6) raises the possibility that Spag6 plays an important role in sperm flagellar function.
Biology of Reproduction 04/2000; 62(3):511-8. · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Steroidogenic cells represent unique systems for the exploration of intracellular cholesterol trafficking. We employed cytochemical and biochemical methods to explore the expression, regulation, and function of the Niemann-Pick C1 protein (NPC1) in human granulosa-lutein cells. NPC1 was localized in a subset of lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein 2 (LAMP-2)-positive vesicles. By analyzing the sensitivity of NPC1 N-linked oligosaccharide chains to glycosidases and neuraminidase, evidence was obtained for movement of nascent NPC1 from the endoplasmic reticulum through the medial and trans compartments of the Golgi apparatus prior to its appearance in cytoplasmic vesicles. NPC1 protein content and the morphology and cellular distribution of NPC1-containing vesicles were not affected by treatment of the granulosa-lutein cells with 8-Br-cAMP, which stimulates cholesterol metabolism into progesterone. In contrast, steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein levels were increased by 8-Br-cAMP. Incubation of granulosa-lutein cells with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the presence of the hydrophobic amine, U18666A, caused accumulation of free cholesterol in granules, identified by filipin staining, that contained LAMP-2 and NPC1. These granules also stained for neutral lipid with Nile red, reflecting accumulation of LDL-derived cholesterol esters. LDL-stimulated progesterone synthesis was completely blocked by U18666A, leaving steroid output at levels similar to those of cells incubated in the absence of LDL. The hydrophobic amine also blocked the LDL augmentation of 8-Br-cAMP-stimulated progesterone synthesis, reducing steroid production to levels seen in cells stimulated with 8-Br-cAMP in the absence of LDL. Steroidogenesis recovered after U18666A was removed from the culture medium. U18666A treatment caused a 2-fold or more increase in NPC1 protein and mRNA levels, suggesting that disruption of NPC1's function activates a compensatory mechanism resulting in increased NPC1 synthesis. We conclude that the NPC1 compartment plays an important role in the trafficking of LDL-derived substrate in steroidogenic cells; that NPC1 expression is up-regulated when NPC1 action is blocked; and that the NPC1 compartment can be functionally separated from other intracellular pathways contributing substrate for steroidogenesis.
Experimental Cell Research 03/2000; 255(1):56-66. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PCOS is a common disorder of unknown etiology. Studies of first-degree relatives of women diagnosed with PCOS suggest familial clustering of the disease. A prospective study of first-degree female relatives of women with PCOS conducted by NCPIR found that 46% of ascertainable sisters of women with PCOS were hyperandrogenemic. NCPIR has conducted linkage and association studies using affected sibling-pair analysis and the transmission/disequilibrium test to explore candidate PCOS genes. These studies point a finger at a region 1 MB centromeric to the insulin receptor gene on chromosome 19.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progesterone, which is required to support human gestation, is derived initially from the corpus luteum and subsequently from the placenta. The rate-limiting step in progesterone synthesis is the delivery of cholesterol to the mitochondrial cholesterol side-chain cleavage system. The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) mediates this process in the corpus luteum, whereas in the placenta, which does not express StAR, a StAR homologue, MLN64, may accomplish this function. StAR expression is regulated in the ovary at the transcriptional level by a cAMP-activated signal transduction system and StAR activity is also increased acutely by protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation. These long-term (transcriptional) and short-term (post-translational, that is, phosphorylation) mechanisms govern luteal steroidogenic activity. The StAR protein has two key functional domains. The StAR C-terminal domain increases cholesterol movement to cytochrome P450scc by promoting sterol desorption from the sterol-rich outer mitochondrial membrane, driving it to the relatively sterol-poor inner membrane. The N-terminal domain mitochondrial targeting sequence directs the StAR protein to the mitochondria.
Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement 02/2000; 55:3-12.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human corpora lutea undergo an extremely rapid period of growth, development and regression during the course of non-fertile cycles. The tissue consists of steroidogenic (parenchymal) and non-steroidogenic (stromal) cells. In women and other primates, steroid hormone production by corpora lutea depends on the presence of pituitary-derived LH. Nevertheless, there is also intra-luteal regulation of steroid synthesis. Steroidogenic luteal cells and non-steroidogenic cells interact via endocrine and paracrine pathways, and by contact-dependent pathways (gap junctions). Thus, hormones and locally produced factors including steroids, growth factors, cytokines, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide may modulate luteal lifespan. The factors regulating regression and rescue of the corpus luteum are not understood completely. This review describes the expression of two representative intragonadal peptides that may influence luteal regression (interleukin 1 beta) and luteal rescue (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein).
Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement 02/2000; 55:13-20.