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FEBS Lett. 1999 Jul 9;454(3):317-20.

Stimulation of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene expression by D-aspartate in rat Leydig cells.

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan.


D-aspartate and human chorionic gonadotropin act synergistically to increase testosterone production in purified rat Leydig cells, and D-aspartate stimulates testosterone synthesis even in the absence of human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation. In addition, D-aspartate enhances steady-state cellular mRNA and protein levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, which is a key regulatory factor in gonadal and adrenal steroidogenesis. D-aspartate therefore appears to increase testosterone production in rat Leydig cells by stimulating steroidogenic acute regulatory protein gene expression. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating a direct effect of D-aspartate on gene expression in mammalian cells.

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