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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2003 Sep 30;207(1-2):39-45.

Expression of LRH-1 and SF-1 in the mouse ovary: localization in different cell types correlates with differing function.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX, 75390-9038, USA.


Steroid biosynthesis in ovary is enhanced by the orphan nuclear receptor, steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1); however, we reported that liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1), a closely related receptor to SF-1, is also expressed in mouse ovary. To further investigate the role of LRH-1 in mouse ovary, we used in situ hybridization to identify the cell types that express LRH-1 versus SF-1, and carried out functional studies to determine the role of LRH-1 in the regulation of the human (h) ovary-specific CYP19 promoter. LRH-1 expression was found to be abundant and highly restricted to cells involved in estrogen biosynthesis-granulosa cells during the estrous cycle, and in corpora lutea (CL) of pregnancy. In contrast, SF-1 was expressed most highly in C(19)-steroid-producing theca cells and interstitium, and at low levels in granulosa and luteal cells. Transfection studies using granulosa cells demonstrated that LRH-1 is a potent regulator of both basal and forskolin-induced transcription of the ovary-specific hCYP19 promoter. This activity was dependent upon two nuclear receptor half-sites within the proximal hCYP19 promoter. Based on these findings, we propose that LRH-1 plays an important role as a competence factor in regulating aromatase, and thus estrogen biosynthesis, in ovary.

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