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J Biol Chem. 1996 May 3;271(18):11027-33.

Repression of transforming growth factor beta 1 protein by antisense oligonucleotide-induced increase of adrenal cell differentiated functions.

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INSERM, INRA U 418, Hôpital Debrousse, Lyon, France.


Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF beta 1) is a potent inhibitor of several differentiated functions in bovine adrenal fasciculata cells (BAC). In addition, these cells express and secrete this factor. To determine whether this peptide plays an autocrine role in BAC, cells were transfected with 10 microM unmodified sense (SON) or antisense (AON) oligonucleotide complementary to the translation initiation region of the TGF beta 1 mRNA in an attempt to inhibit TGF beta 1 protein synthesis. We investigated first, the cellular uptake, the stability, and the intracellular distribution of 32P-labeled TGF beta 1 AON and SON; and second, the effects of both oligonucleotides on BAC specific functions. We have demonstrated that in BAC, the TGF beta 1 AON uptake reached a plateau after 8 h of transfection (16% of the radioactivity added) and remained fairly constant for at least 24 h. In contrast, the uptake of TGF beta 1 SON reached a plateau after 2 h of transfection (8% of the radioactivity added), remained stable for only 3 h, and then declined. After 8 h of transfection, followed by 44 h of culture without oligonucleotides, the intracellular level of TGF beta 1 AON was still high with about 8% of the radioactivity added, whereas that of TGF beta 1 SON represented only 1.2%. Moreover, AON was present in the cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions, and it was hybridized in both compartments. However, TGF beta 1 SON was present mainly in the cytoplasmic fraction where it was not hybridized. Neither TGF beta 1 AON nor SON modified TGF beta 1 mRNA levels; however, TGF beta 1 AON, but not SON, caused the disappearance of TGF beta 1 immunoreactivity inside the cells. Finally, the steroidogenic responsiveness of BAC transfected with TGF beta 1 AON increased about 2-fold, and this was associated with a 2-fold increase of the mRNA levels of both cytochrome P450 17 alpha-hydroxylase and 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Neither TGF beta 1 SON nor a scrambled oligonucleotide containing the same number of G nucleotides as TGF beta 1 AON had any effect on these parameters. Thus, these studies demonstrate that TGF beta 1 has an autocrine inhibitory effect on BAC differentiated functions, an effect that can be overcome by TGF beta 1 AON.

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