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Endocrinology. 2011 Nov;152(11):4322-35. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-1246. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

The PACAP-regulated gene selenoprotein T is highly induced in nervous, endocrine, and metabolic tissues during ontogenetic and regenerative processes.

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INSERM, U982, Neuronal and Neuroendocrine Differentiation and Communication Laboratory, Sciences Faculty, University of Rouen, Place Emile Blondel, F-76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France.


Selenoproteins contain the essential trace element selenium whose deficiency leads to major disorders including cancer, male reproductive system failure, or autoimmune thyroid disease. Up to now, 25 selenoprotein-encoding genes were identified in mammals, but the spatiotemporal distribution, regulation, and function of some of these selenium-containing proteins remain poorly documented. Here, we found that selenoprotein T (SelT), a new thioredoxin-like protein, is regulated by the trophic neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) in differentiating but not mature adrenomedullary cells. In fact, our analysis revealed that, in rat, SelT is highly expressed in most embryonic structures, and then its levels decreased progressively as these organs develop, to vanish in most adult tissues. In the brain, SelT was abundantly expressed in neural progenitors in various regions such as the cortex and cerebellum but was undetectable in adult nervous cells except rostral migratory-stream astrocytes and Bergmann cells. In contrast, SelT expression was maintained in several adult endocrine tissues such as pituitary, thyroid, or testis. In the pituitary gland, SelT was found in secretory cells of the anterior lobe, whereas in the testis, the selenoprotein was present only in spermatogenic and Leydig cells. Finally, we found that SelT expression is strongly stimulated in liver cells during the regenerative process that occurs after partial hepatectomy. Taken together, these data show that SelT induction is associated with ontogenesis, tissue maturation, and regenerative mechanisms, indicating that this PACAP-regulated selenoprotein may play a crucial role in cell growth and activity in nervous, endocrine, and metabolic tissues.

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