PPARγ co-activator-1α co-activates steroidogenic factor 1 to stimulate the synthesis of luteinizing hormone and aldosterone

Academic Article


  • The orphan nuclear receptor SF-1 (steroidogenic factor 1) is highly expressed in the pituitary, gonad and adrenal glands and plays key roles at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-steroidogenic tissue axis. In the present study, we show that PGC-1α [PPARγ (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ) co-activator 1α] interacts with and co-activates SF-1 to induce LHβ (luteinizing hormone β) and αGSU (α-glycoprotein subunit) gene expression, subsequently leading to the increased secretion of LH in pituitary gonadotrope-derived αT3-1 cells. PGC-1α co-activation of LHβ expression requires an SF-1-binding element [GSE (gonadotrope-specific element)] mapped to the promoter region of LHβ. Mammalian two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation assays, as well as GST (glutathione transferase) pull-down experiments demonstrated that PGC-1α interacts with SF-1 in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, PGC-1α stimulates the expression of Cyp11b2 (aldosterone synthase gene), Cyp11b1 (steroid 11β-hydroxylase gene) and P450scc (cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme), and the synthesis of aldosterone in adrenal-cortex-derived Y-1 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that endogenous PGC-1α co-localizes with SF-1 in the LHβ and Cyp11b2 promoter region. Knockdown of endogenous SF-1 by siRNA (small interfering RNA) abolished the PGC-1α induction of LHβ and Cyp11b2 gene expression in αT3-1 and Y-1 cells respectively. Finally, we demonstrated that PGC-1α induces SF-1 gene expression in both αT3-1 and Y-1 cells. Taken together, our findings reveal the potential role of PGC-1α and suggest that it may play important roles in steroidogenesis, gonad development and sex differentiation through SF-1. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Biochemical Society.
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    Author List

  • Zhu L; Ke Y; Shao D; Cui Y; Qiao A; Liu X; Fang F; Chang Y
  • Start Page

  • 473
  • End Page

  • 483
  • Volume

  • 432
  • Issue

  • 3