- Publication date : 2015-11-21
Di-Luoffo M, Brousseau C, Bergeron F, Tremblay JJ. The Transcription Factor MEF2 Is a Novel Regulator of Gsta Gene Class in Mouse MA-10 Leydig Cells. Endocrinology. 2015;156:4695-706. doi: 10.1210/en.2015-1500. PubMed PMID: 26393304.
animals calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type 1 cell line chromatin immunoprecipitation gene expression regulation, developmental gene knockout techniques glutathione transferase isoenzymes leydig cells mef2 transcription factors male mice promoter regions, genetic rna, messenger reactive oxygen species testosterone
Testosterone is essential for spermatogenesis and the development of male sexual characteristics. However, steroidogenesis produces a significant amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can disrupt testosterone production. The myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) is an important regulator of organogenesis and cell differentiation in various tissues. In the testis, MEF2 is present in Sertoli and Leydig cells throughout fetal and adult life. MEF2-deficient MA-10 Leydig cells exhibit a significant decrease in steroidogenesis concomitant with a reduction in glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and in the expression of the 4 Gsta members (GST) that encode ROS inactivating enzymes. Here, we report a novel role for MEF2 in ROS detoxification by directly regulating Gsta expression in Leydig cells. Endogenous Gsta1-4 mRNA levels were decreased in MEF2-deficient MA-10 Leydig cells. Conversely, overexpression of MEF2 increased endogenous Gsta1 levels. MEF2 recruitment to the proximal Gsta1 promoter and direct binding on the -506-bp MEF2 element were confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNA precipitation assays. In MA-10 Leydig cells, MEF2 activates the Gsta1 promoter and cooperates with Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinases I to further enhance Gsta1 promoter activity. These effects were lost when the -506-bp MEF2 element was mutated or when a MEF2-Engrailed dominant negative protein was used. Similar results were obtained on the Gsta2, Gsta3, and Gsta4 promoters, suggesting a global role for MEF2 factors in the regulation of all 4 Gsta genes. Altogether, our results identify a novel role for MEF2 in the expression of genes involved in ROS detoxification, a process essential for adequate testosterone production in Leydig cells.