Synergistic activation of the human type II 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ54 isomerase promoter by the transcription factor steroidogenic factor-1/adrenal 4-binding protein and phorbol ester

Susan Leers-Sucheta, Ken Ichirou Morohashi, J. Ian Mason, Michael H. Melner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)


Steroidogenic factor-1/adrenal 4-binding protein (SF-1/Ad4BP) is an orphan nuclear receptor/transcription factor known to regulate the P450 steroid hydroxylases; however, mechanisms that regulate the activity of SF- 1/Ad4BP are not well defined. In addition, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the human steroidogenic enzyme, type II 3β- hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD II), the major gonadal and adrenal isoform. Regulation of the 3β-HSD II promoter was examined using human adrenal cortical (H295R; steroidogenic) and cervical (HeLa; non- steroidogenic) carcinoma cells. H295R cells were transfected with a series of 5' deletions of 1251 base pairs (bp) of the 3β-HSD II 5'-flanking region fused to a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene followed by treatment with or without phorbol ester (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate; PMA). CAT assay data indicated that the region from -101 to -52 bp of the promoter was required for PMA-induced expression. A putative SF-1/Ad4BP regulatory element, TCAAGGTAA, was identified by sequence homology at -64 to -56 bp of the promoter. Cotransfection of HeLa cells with the -101 3β-HSD- CAT construct and an expression vector for SF-1/Ad4BP increased CAT activity 49-fold. Subsequent treatment with PMA induced an unexpected synergistic increase in transcriptional activity 540-fold over basal. Mutation of the putative response element (TCAAGGTAA to TCAATTTAA) abolished SF-1-induced CAT activity and the synergistic response to PMA. Gel mobility shift assays confirmed that SF-1/Ad4BP interacts with the putative element and transcripts for SF-1/Ad4BP were detected in H295R cells by Northern analysis. These data are the first to demonstrate 1) regulation of a non-cytochrome P450 steroidogenic enzyme promoter by SF-1/Ad4BP, 2) a powerful synergistic effect of PMA on SF-1/Ad4BP-induced transcription, and 3) the importance of the SF- 1/Ad4BP regulatory element in the regulation of the 3β-HSD II promoter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7960-7967
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Synergistic activation of the human type II 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase/Δ<sup>5</sup>-Δ<sup>4</sup> isomerase promoter by the transcription factor steroidogenic factor-1/adrenal 4-binding protein and phorbol ester'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this