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Mol Endocrinol. 2008 Dec;22(12):2655-76. doi: 10.1210/me.2008-0077. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript accelerates termination of follicle-stimulating hormone-induced extracellularly regulated kinase 1/2 and Akt activation by regulating the expression and degradation of specific mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases in bovine granulosa cells.

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Laboratory of Mammalian Reproductive Biology and Genomics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


Pleiotropic actions of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) are well described in the central nervous system and periphery, but the intracellular mechanisms mediating biological actions of CART are poorly understood. Although CART is not expressed in mouse ovaries, we have previously established CART as a novel intracellular regulator of estradiol production in bovine granulosa cells. We demonstrated that inhibitory actions of CART on estradiol production are mediated through inhibition of FSH-induced cAMP accumulation, Ca(2+) influx, and aromatase mRNA expression via a G(o/i)-dependent pathway. We also reported that FSH-induced estradiol production is dependent on Erk1/2 and Akt signaling, and CART may regulate other signaling proteins downstream of cAMP essential for estradiol production. Here, we demonstrate that CART is a potent inhibitor of FSH-stimulated Erk1/2 and Akt signaling and the mechanisms involved. Transient CART stimulation of bovine granulosa cells shortens the duration of FSH-induced Erk1/2 and Akt signaling whereas a prolonged (24 h) CART treatment blocks Erk1/2 and Akt activation in response to FSH. This CART-induced accelerated termination of Erk1/2 and Akt signaling is mediated both by induced expression and impaired ubiquitin-mediated proteasome degradation of dual specific phosphatase 5 (DUSP5) and protein phosphatase 2A. Results also support existence of a negative feedback loop in which CART via a G(o/i)-MAPK kinase dependent pathway activates Erk1/2, and the latter induces DUSP5 expression. Moreover, small interfering RNA mediated ablation of DUSP5 and/or protein phosphatase 2A prevents the CART-induced early termination of Erk1/2 and Akt signaling. Results provide novel insight into the intracellular mechanism of action of CART in regulation of FSH-induced MAPK signaling.

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