[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gonadotropin-regulated testicular RNA helicase is a multifunctional enzyme present in both Leydig and germ cells that is essential for the progress of spermatogenesis. GRTH gene expression is transcriptionally upregulated by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) via second messenger (cAMP) and androgen in Leydig cells. The regulatory region(s) in the GRTH gene that is/are required for its cell-specific expression in the testis and hCG/androgen dependent expression were investigated in transgenic mice carrying sequential deletions of 5' flanking sequences of the GRTH gene. GFP-reporter gene expression directed by the GRTH 5' flanking sequences extending to -3.6 kb was specifically located in Leydig cells and the 205 bp minimal promoter domain was sufficient for this cell-specific expression. The 1 kb (5' to the ATG codon) transgene-directed expression was markedly increased by in vivo hCG treatment. Administration of the androgen receptor inhibitor Flutamide blocked the basal and hCG stimulated GFP expression in Leydig cells. We conclude that the expression of GRTH in testicular cells is differentially regulated by its 5' flanking sequence and that the 1 kb fragment of GRTH gene contains sequences for androgen regulation of its expression in Leydig cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gonadotropin-regulated long chain fatty acid Acyl-CoA synthetase (GR-LACS), is a member of the LACS family that is regulated by gonadotropin in the rat Leydig cell (LC). Its mouse/human homologs, lipidosin/bubblegum, have been suggested to participate in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD), an adreno/neurodegenerative disorder with accumulation of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) in tissues and plasma. To further gain insights into its regulatory function, a GR-LACS/lipidosin null mouse was generated. No apparent phenotypic abnormalities were observed in the X-ALD target tissues (brain, testis, adrenal). Nuclear inclusions seen in mice >15 month-old, were present in LC of 9 month-old GR-LACS(-/-) mice. LC of the null mice showed refractoriness to the gonadotropin-induced desensitization of testosterone production that is observed in adult animals. LCFAs were moderately increased in the testis, ovary and brain, but not in the adrenal gland of GR-LACS(-/-) mice, with no major changes in VLCFA. No change in LACS activity was observed in these tissues, suggesting a compensatory mechanism exhibited by other LACS members. The GR-LACS(-/-) model did not support its association with X-ALD. These studies revealed a role of GR-LACS in reducing the aging process of the LC, and its participation in gonadotropin-induced testicular desensitization of testosterone production.
No preview · Article · Mar 2009 · The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gonadotropin-regulated long chain acyl-CoA synthetase (GR-LACS) is a novel hormonally regulated fatty acyl-CoA synthetase (FACS) with activity for long-chain fatty acids. The presence of this enzyme in the Leydig cells of the mature rat testis and its mode of regulation suggest that it participates in testicular steroidogenesis. This study demonstrates that GR-LACS expression is tissue, cell and species-specific. The 79 kDa GR-LACS protein is expressed in rodent gonads and brain, and only in the mouse in the adrenal cortex. In the ovary of both species it is associated with follicles undergoing atresia. It is present in the newborn and immature testis tubules and after puberty only in the Leydig cells. A distinct GR-LACS protein species of 64 kDa that was more abundant than the 79 kDa long form was found in the rat brain. Also, a minor 73 kDa form was observed in the rat brain and mouse ovary. Two novel species resulting from alternatively splicing of the GR-LACS gene were identified in a rat brain cDNA library: a short form 1 (S1) lacking exon 8 and short form 2 (S2) lacking exons 6-8. Expression studies revealed that the sizes of the S1/S2 proteins are comparable to those of the endogenous variant species. Neither S form contains FACSs activity, suggesting that exon 8 is essential for the enzymatic function. GR-LACS variants exhibit small but significant dominant negative effects on the FACS activity of the long form. GR-LACS variants may regulate the long form's activity in the brain.
No preview · Article · Apr 2006 · The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 79 kD gonadotropin-regulated testicular long chain acyl-CoA synthetase gene (GR-LACS) is a hormone-regulated member of the acyl-CoA synthetase family that is expressed abundantly in Leydig cells and to a lesser extent in germinal cells of the adult testis. GR-LACS possesses an ATP/AMP binding domain and the fatty acyl-CoA synthetase (FACS) signature motif. To gain insights into the transcriptional regulation of GR-LACS in gonadal cells, we determined the genomic organization of the gene, including the upstream flanking sequences. The mouse GR-LACS gene spans over at least 45 kb and the coding region is encoded by exons 1-14. All exon-intron junction sites correspond to the consensus splice sequence GT-AG. Exon 7 and 11 comprise the conserved ATP/AMP binding domain and the FACS signature motif, respectively. Primer extension and S1 nuclease analyses demonstrated four transcriptional start sites located at -266/-216 bp 5' to the ATG codon. The minimal promoter domain resides within -254/-217 bp 5' to ATG codon, and upstream sequences to -404 bp (-1035/-405 bp) contribute to the inhibition of transcription in the expressing mouse Leydig tumor cells. Removal of -217/-1 bp, containing a 23 nt GC rich sequence (-112/-90) with an Sp1/Sp3 binding element, within the 1st exon of this TATA-less promoter, significantly reduced GR-LACS gene transcription. Transcriptional activity was abolished by a 2 nt mutation of this element. Thus, functional analyses of this promoter domain indicate that transcription of GR-LACS gene requires an Sp1/Sp3 binding element downstream of the transcriptional start sites which is essential for basal promoter activity.