- Publication date : 2021-07-05
Mehanovic S, Mendoza-Villarroel RE, Mattos K, Talbot P, Viger RS, Tremblay JJ. Identification of novel genes and pathways regulated by the orphan nuclear receptor COUP-TFII in mouse MA-10 Leydig cells†. Biol Reprod. 2021 Jul 5:ioab131. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioab131. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34225363.
Gsta3 COUP-TFII Nuclear receptor NR2F2 coup transcription factor ii leydig cells Steroidogenesis
In males, Leydig cells are the main producers of testosterone and insulin-like 3 (INSL3), two hormones essential for sex differentiation and reproductive functions. Chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factors I (COUP-TFI/NR2F1) and COUP-TFII (NR2F2) belong to the steroid/thyroid hormone nuclear receptor superfamily of transcription factors. In the testis, COUP-TFII is expressed and plays a role in the differentiation of cells committed to give rise to fully functional steroidogenic adult Leydig cells. Steroid production has also been shown to be diminished in COUP-TFII-depleted Leydig cells, indicating an important functional role in steroidogenesis. Until now, only a handful of target genes have been identified for COUP-TFII in Leydig cells. To provide new information into the mechanism of action of COUP-TFII in Leydig cells, we performed microarray analyses of COUP-TFII-depleted MA-10 Leydig cells. We identified 262 differentially expressed genes in COUP-TFII-depleted MA-10 cells. Many of the differentially expressed genes are known to be involved in lipid biosynthesis, lipid metabolism, male gonad development, and steroidogenesis. We validated the microarray data for a subset of the modulated genes by RT-qPCR. Downregulated genes included Hsd3b1, Cyp11a1, Prlr, Shp/Nr0b2, Fdx1, Scarb1, Inha and Gsta3. Finally, analysis of the Gsta3 and Inha gene promoters showed that at least two of the downregulated genes are potentially new direct targets for COUP-TFII. These data provide new evidence that further strengthens the important nature of COUP-TFII in steroidogenesis, androgen homeostasis, cellular defense, and differentiation in mouse Leydig cells.