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Mol Endocrinol. 1994 Jul;8(7):878-85.

The orphan nuclear receptor, steroidogenic factor-1, regulates the glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit gene in pituitary gonadotropes.

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Department of Reproductive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0674.


Tissue-specific expression of the glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit gene in pituitary gonadotropes relies on a gonadotrope-specific element (GSE), which binds an approximately 54-kilodalton protein termed GSE-binding protein 1 (GSEB1). We report here that GSEB1 is the orphan nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), which has been shown to be a primary regulator of steroidogenic enzymes in the adrenal gland and gonadal tissues. GSEB1 from alpha T3-1 pituitary gonadotrope cells and SF-1 from Y1 adrenocortical cells and R2C testicular Leydig cells display identical binding properties with both the GSE and SF-1 elements. Antiserum specific to the SF-1 DNA-binding domain abolishes the binding of both GSEB1 and SF-1 to both elements. SF-1 mRNA is found in the mouse pituitary and in the alpha T3-1 cell line but not in other pituitary cell lines, consistent with the pattern of GSEB 1-binding activity. The GSE element specifically enhances transcription in SF-1-containing cells. The discovery that an orphan nuclear receptor regulates the expression of both the gonadotropin hormones in the pituitary and the steroidogenic enzymes in the gonad provides a potential molecular mechanism for coordinate control in reproductive function, perhaps through an as yet unidentified endocrine ligand for SF-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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