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DNA Cell Biol. 1991 Jun;10(5):339-47.

Expression and regulation of adrenodoxin and P450scc mRNA in rodent tissues.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California-San Francisco 94143-0556.


The rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis is the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone. This reaction occurs in steroidogenic tissue in the inner mitochondrial membrane, and is mediated by the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme. This enzyme system transfers electrons from NADPH to cholesterol through its three protein components: adrenodoxin reductase, adrenodoxin, and the terminal oxidase, P450scc. We have previously shown that P450scc mRNA is regulated by tropic hormones and cAMP by a cycloheximide-independent mechanism in mouse Leydig tumor MA-10 cells. We now show that the mRNA for adrenodoxin, another component of the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme system, is regulated by tropic hormones and cAMP in MA-10 cells. We cloned rat adrenodoxin cDNA to analyze adrenodoxin mRNA in various rat tissues and in MA-10 cells by RNase protection assays. Adrenodoxin mRNA is found in virtually all rat tissues examined, although it is most abundant in adrenals, ovaries, and testes. MA-10 cells synthesize two species of adrenodoxin mRNA, one of 1.2 kb and the other of 0.8 kb. Both of these adrenodoxin mRNAs are increased approximately six-fold by 1 mM 8-Br-cAMP, five-fold by 10 microM forskolin, and three-fold by both 25 ng/ml hCG and by 100 ng/ml LH. Maximal adrenodoxin mRNA accumulation occurs by 4 h of hormonal stimulation. The cAMP-mediated increase in adrenodoxin mRNA accumulation is independent of protein synthesis, since treatment with cycloheximide or puromycin in the absence or presence of cAMP does not inhibit, and even increases, adrenodoxin mRNA accumulation.

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