Positive regulation of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein gene expression through the interaction between Dlx and GATA-4 for testicular steroidogenesis

Hisayo Nishida, Shinichi Miyagawa, Maxence Vieux-Rochas, Monica Morini, Yukiko Ogino, Kentaro Suzuki, Naomi Nakagata, Hueng Sik Choi, Giovanni Levi, Gen Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Split hand/foot malformation (SHFM) is syndromic ectrodactyly often associated with mental retardation and/or craniofacial defects. Several clinical reports previously described urogenital dysplasia such as micropenis, hypospadias, and small testis in SHFM patients. Genetic lesions in the Dlx5 and Dlx6 (Dlx5/6) locus are associated with the human genetic disorder SHFM type 1. Although Dlx5/6 are expressed in the testis, their possible function of Dlx5/6 during testis differentiation has not been described. In this study, we show that Dlx5/6 are expressed in the fetal Leydig cells during testis development. We examined the effect of Dlx5 expression on the promoter activation of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) gene, which is essential for gonadal and adrenal steroidogenesis, in a Leydig cell line. Dlx5 efficiently activates the StAR promoter when GATA-4, another transcription factor essential for testicular steroidogenesis, was coexpressed. The transcriptional activation required the GATA-4-recognition element in the StAR promoter region and Dlx5 can physically interact with GATA-4. Furthermore, we herein show that the double inactivation of Dlx5 and Dlx6 in the mouse leads to decreased testosterone level and abnormal masculinization phenotype. These results suggest that Dlx5 and Dlx6 participate in the control of steroidogenesis during testis development. The findings of this study may open the way to analyze human congenital birth defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2090-2097
Number of pages8
JournalEndocrinology
Volume149
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology

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