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J Histochem Cytochem. 2010 Jul;58(7):595-609. doi: 10.1369/jhc.2010.955294. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Variable expression of nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NcoA4) during mouse embryonic development.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Human nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NcoA4) amplifies the activity of several ligand-activated nuclear transcription factors, including the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and androgen receptor (AR). Because these receptors exert important regulatory effects during development, with AhR ubiquitously expressed after embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5) and AR expressed from E12 onward, we examined NcoA4 expression in mouse embryos from E9.5 to E17.5. Full-length NcoA4 transcript was detected by RT-PCR at all embryonic stages and in all adult mouse tissues examined, although a novel splice variant was also detected. Western blot analysis indicated the expression of full-length NcoA4 protein, which was more highly expressed at later (E15.5-E17.5) embryonic stages. NcoA4 protein was also present at varying levels in all adult mouse tissues examined. A dynamic expression profile for NcoA4 during early development was indicated by immunohistochemistry in cardiac, hepatic, and lung tissue. Unlike human NcoA4, murine NcoA4 lacks an LXXLL motif, which has been implicated in the interaction with AR. Overexpression of murine NcoA4 augmented the transcriptional activity of AhR by 5-fold and AR by only 1.5-fold in COS cells. These studies demonstrate ubiquitous NcoA4 expression throughout development and suggest that this coactivator may play a role in modulating nuclear receptor activity, particularly that of the AhR, during development.

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