Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Mar 9;11(3):e0148308. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148308. eCollection 2016.

Disruption of STAT5b-Regulated Sexual Dimorphism of the Liver Transcriptome by Diverse Factors Is a Common Event.

Author information

Integrated Systems Toxicology Division, NHEERL/ORD, US-EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, United States of America.
Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Department of Biology and Bioinformatics Program, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, United States of America.


Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor and a master regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Disruption of the GH hypothalamo-pituitary-liver axis controlling STAT5b activation can lead to metabolic dysregulation, steatosis, and liver cancer. Computational approaches were developed to identify factors that disrupt STAT5b function in a mouse liver gene expression compendium. A biomarker comprised of 144 STAT5b-dependent genes was derived using comparisons between wild-type male and wild-type female mice and between STAT5b-null and wild-type mice. Correlations between the STAT5b biomarker gene set and a test set comprised of expression datasets (biosets) with known effects on STAT5b function were evaluated using a rank-based test (the Running Fisher algorithm). Using a similarity p-value ≤ 10(-4), the test achieved a balanced accuracy of 99% and 97% for detection of STAT5b activation or STAT5b suppression, respectively. The STAT5b biomarker gene set was then used to identify factors that activate (masculinize) or suppress (feminize) STAT5b function in an annotated mouse liver and primary hepatocyte gene expression compendium of ~1,850 datasets. Disruption of GH-regulated STAT5b is a common phenomenon in liver in vivo, with 5% and 29% of the male datasets, and 11% and 13% of the female datasets, associated with masculinization or feminization, respectively. As expected, liver STAT5b activation/masculinization occurred at puberty and suppression/feminization occurred during aging and in mutant mice with defects in GH signaling. A total of 70 genes were identified that have effects on STAT5b activation in genetic models in which the gene was inactivated or overexpressed. Other factors that affected liver STAT5b function were shown to include fasting, caloric restriction and infections. Together, these findings identify diverse factors that perturb the hypothalamo-pituitary-liver GH axis and disrupt GH-dependent STAT5b activation in mouse liver.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center