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Biochem Cell Biol. 2000;78(3):345-58.

Interplay between liganded and orphan nuclear receptors controls reproductive pathways.

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UPRES-A CNRS 6026, Equipe d'Endocrinologie Moléculaire de la Reproduction, Université de Rennes, France.


Nuclear receptors are transcription factors that belong to an evolutionary ancient superfamily. These proteins, which are even present in primitive metazoans, are implicated in all levels of cell fate: proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Some of these nuclear receptors behave as ligand-inducible transcription factors, as they have acquired during evolution the ability to bind ligands. This is the case for some proteins that recognize small hydrophobic signaling molecules, and particularly the estrogen receptor (ER or NR3A1), which regulates the target gene's transcription rate under estrogen binding. It is now known that the ER alone regulates the transcription of many genes, such as those implicated in reproductive functions. However, this ER-mediated signaling pathway could be modulated by other transcription factors. Our work has established that two other orphan nuclear receptors (SF-1 or NR5A1 and the COUP-TFs, NR2F1 and NR2F2) can enhance two ER-regulated genes implicated in salmonid reproductive functions: the ER gene itself, and the sGTHIIbeta gene. Moreover, some xenoestrogens could disturb these regulations. Therefore, our data contribute to the concept that interplay between nuclear receptors is an important event for the transcriptional regulation of genes controlling cellular functions.

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