Ascorbic Acid Uptaken by Sodium-Dependent Vitamin C Transporter 2 Induces βhCG Expression through Sp1 and TFAP2A Transcription Factors in Human Choriocarcinoma Cells

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, No. 866, Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China. .
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.21). 06/2012; 97(9):E1667-76. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2012-1753
Source: PubMed


Vitamin C [ascorbic acid (AA)] is transported by sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters (SVCT) 1 and 2, and our previous studies show AA induces a dramatic production of steroid hormones in human choriocarcinoma cells. However, whether AA induces the production of placental polypeptide hormones remains unknown. Here we investigated the mechanisms governing AA-induced β-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) expression.

Frozen sections from human term placentas were used for immunostaining of SVCT, and βhCG mRNA expression and its production in primary human placental cytotrophoblasts and JEG-3 cells were examined by quantitative RT-PCR and ELISA, respectively. Knockdown of SVCT2, transcription factor activating enhancer-binding protein 2α (TFAP2A), or specificity protein-1 (Sp1) expression was achieved by retrovirus-mediated short hairpin RNA, and the transcriptional factors responsible for AA-induced βhCG expression was identified by reporter constructs.

Both SVCT1 and SVCT2 are expressed in human term placentas. SVCT2 is predominantly localized in the syncytial layer, whereas SVCT1 is predominantly distributed in the villous core. AA dramatically induces βhCG mRNA expression and its production in JEG-3 cells and primary human cytotrophoblasts, and knockdown of SVCT2 expression in JEG-3 cells significantly decreases AA-induced βhCG expression. Data from βhCG5 construct and its deletion mutants further indicate that AA induces βhCG5 transactivation through Sp1 and TFAP2A transcriptional factors, and silence of Sp1 and/or TFAP2A expression significantly decreased AA-induced βhCG5 reporter activity and βhCG expression as well.

The present study revealed the novel effects of AA on polypeptide hormone, βhCG, production and the potential mechanisms governing AA-induced βhCG expression, suggesting the potentially indispensable roles of AA in placental endocrine and pregnant maintenance.

Download full-text


Available from: Hongfeng Ruan, Jan 31, 2015
  • Source
    • "17-HSD5, and hSTS as described previously [15] [16]. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (Chip) was conducted by using a commercial kit (Millipore, "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cholesterol modification of Hedgehog (Hh) ligands is fundamental for the activity of Hh signaling, and cholesterol biosynthesis is also required for intracellular Hh signaling transduction. Here, we investigated the roles and underlying mechanism of Hh signaling in metabolism of cholesterol. The main components of the Hh pathway are abundantly expressed in both human cytotrophoblasts and trophoblast-like cells. Activation of Hh signaling induces the conversion of cholesterol to progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) through up-regulating the expression of steroidogenic enzymes including P450 cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (3β-HSD1), and aromatase. Moreover, inhibition of Hh signaling attenuates not only Hh-induced expression of steroidogenic enzymes but also the conversion of cholesterol to P4 and E2. Whereas Gli3 is required for Hh-induced P450scc expression, Gli2 mediates the induction of 3β-HSD1 and aromatase. Finally, in ovariectomized nude mice, systemic inhibition of Hh signaling by cyclopamine suppresses circulating P4 and E2 levels derived from a trophoblast-like choricarcinoma xenograft, and attenuates uterine response to P4 and E2. Together these results uncover a hitherto uncharacterized role of Hh signaling in metabolism of cholesterol. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Cellular Signalling
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Signal-induced proliferation associated gene 1 (Sipa1) is a signal transducer to activate the Ras-related proteins and modulate cell progression, differentiation, adhesion and cancer metastasis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Sipa1 are associated with lung cancer risk and metastasis. Three common SNPs (rs931127A > G, rs2448490G > A, and rs3741379G > T) were genotyped in a discovery set of southern Chinese population and then validated the promising SNPs in a validation set of an eastern Chinese population in a total of 1559 lung cancer patients and 1679 cancer-free controls. The results from the two sets were consistent, the rs931127GG variant genotype had an increased risk of lung cancer compared to the rs931127AA/GA genotypes (OR = 1.27; 95% CI = 1.09-1.49) after combination of the two populations, and the rs931127GG interacted with pack-year smoked on increasing lung cancer risk (P = 0.037); this SNP also had an effect on patients' clinical stages (P = 0.012) that those patients with the rs931127GG genotype had a significant higher metastasis rate and been advanced N, M stages at diagnosis. However, these associations were not observed for rs2448490G > A and rs3741379G > T in the discovery set. Our data suggest that the SNP rs931127A > G in the promoter of Sipa1 was significantly associated with lung cancer risk and metastasis, which may be a biomarker to predict the risk and metastasis of lung cancer. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Molecular Carcinogenesis
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that the reduced form of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, AA) is able to induce the production of both steroid and peptide hormones in human choriocarcinoma cells. Here, we attempted to investigate the role and underlying mechanism of the oxidized form of vitamin C, dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), in steroidogenesis in primary human cytotrophoblasts and human choriocarcinoma cells. Messenger RNA and protein levels of steroidogenic enzymes including P450 cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (3β-HSD1), 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1), and aromatase were examined by quantitative RT-PCR and western blots, respectively. Progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) levels were determined by enzyme immunoassays. Knockdown of c-Jun was achieved by lentivirus-mediated shRNA, and signaling pathways implicated in DHA-induced steroidogenesis were examined by western blots and dual-luciferase assays. DHA dose-dependently induced the expression of steroidogenic enzymes including 3β-HSD1, 17β-HSD1, and aromatase at both mRNA and protein levels, and subsequently increased the production of E2 but not P4. These effects were synergized by diethylmaleate, a glutathione-depleting compound, and α-tocpherol, a reducing agent, but robustly attenuated by inhibition of DHA transportation by phloretin or 2-deoxy-D-glucose. DHA time-dependently inhibited JNK and c-Jun phosphorylation, and dose-dependently reduced AP1 reporter activity. JNK signaling pathway-specific inhibitor SP600125 and c-Jun shRNA both significantly increased the expression of steroidogenic enzymes and E2 production regardless of the presence or absence of DHA. These findings suggest that DHA is able to induce steroidogenesis through inhibition of JNK/c-Jun/AP1 signaling, and may therefore play indispensable roles in pregnancy maintenance.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Molecular Human Reproduction
Show more