The development and differentiation of steroidogenic organs are controlled by Ad4BP/SF-1 (adrenal 4 binding protein/steroidogenic factor 1). Besides, lysosomal activity is required for steroidogenesis and also enables adrenocortical cell to survive during stress. However, the role of lysosomal activity on steroidogenic cell growth is as yet unknown. Here, we showed that lysosomal activity maintained Ad4BP/SF-1 protein stability for proper steroidogenic cell growth. Treatment of cells with lysosomal inhibitors reduced steroidogenic cell growth in vitro. Suppression of autophagy did not affect cell growth indicating that autophagy was dispensable for steroidogenic cell growth. When lysosomal activity was inhibited, the protein stability of Ad4BP/SF-1 was reduced leading to reduced S phase entry. Interestingly, treatment of cells with lysosomal inhibitors reduced glycolytic gene expression and supplying the cells with pyruvate alleviated the growth defect. ChIP-sequence/ChIP studies indicated that Ad4BP/SF-1 binds to the upstream region of Ccne1 (cyclin E1) gene during G1/S phase. In addition, treatment of zebrafish embryo with lysosomal inhibitor reduced the levels of the interrenal (adrenal) gland markers. Thus lysosomal activity maintains steroidogenic cell growth via stabilizing Ad4BP/SF-1 protein.
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