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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Mar 5;350(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.11.014. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) regulates production of androstenedione and progesterone via control of histone acetylation of StAR and CYP17 promoters in ovarian theca cells.

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Graduate School of Animal and Food Hygiene, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-machi, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.


Although luteinizing hormone (LH) affects androstenedione (A4) and progesterone (P4) production in theca cells, it is still unknown how LH influences molecular mechanism of A4 and P4 production. To examine the relationship between LH and transcription factors involved in A4 and P4 production, ovarian theca cells were cultured in the presence or absence of high concentrations of LH for 24 h (pre-treatment with high concentration of LH) and then cultured in the presence or absence of low concentration of LH for 48 h. Low LH enhanced production of A4 and P4, and expressions of CYP17 and StAR mRNA in theca cells without pre-treatment with high LH. In addition, low LH stimulated the expression of SF-1 protein in nuclear fractions from theca cells with or without pre-treatment with high LH. The binding of SF-1 to the CYP17 and StAR promoter regions increased in theca cells treated with low LH. Although GATA-4 and GATA-6 are both found in the nuclear fraction but not in the cytosol of theca cells, low LH enhanced the binding of GATA-6, but not of GATA-4, to the CYP17 promoter region without pre-treatment with high LH. Acetylation histone H3 in StAR and CYP17 promoter regions were changed by different LH-dosage. Overall, we showed that LH regulates the production of A4 and P4 by affecting the nuclear localization and switching of transcription factors in theca cells and that target transcription factors involved in steroid production in theca cells are changed by different LH concentration.

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