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Role of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, scleraxis, in the regulation of Sertoli cell function and differentiation.

Authors: Muir, T  Sadler-Riggleman, I  Skinner, MK 
Citation: Muir T, etal., Mol Endocrinol. 2005 Aug;19(8):2164-74. Epub 2005 Apr 14.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:15831523
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1210/me.2004-0473

Sertoli cells are a postmitotic terminally differentiated cell population in the adult testis that form the seminiferous tubules and provide the microenvironment and structural support for developing germ cells. The transcription factors that regulate Sertoli cell differentiation remain to be elucidated. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors are involved in the differentiation of a variety of cell lineages during development and are expressed in pubertal Sertoli cells. A yeast-two-hybrid procedure was used to screen a Sertoli cell library from 20-d-old pubertal rats to identify dimerization partners with the ubiquitous E47 basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor. Scleraxis was identified as one of the interacting partners. Among the cell types of the testis, scleraxis expression was found to be specific to Sertoli cells. Analysis of the expression pattern of scleraxis mRNA in developing Sertoli cells revealed an increase in scleraxis message at the onset of puberty. Sertoli cells respond to FSH to promote expression of differentiated gene products such as transferrin that aid in proper development of the germ cells. Analysis of the hormonal regulation of scleraxis expression revealed a 4-fold increase in scleraxis mRNA in response to the presence of FSH or dibutryl cAMP in cultured Sertoli cells. An antisense oligonucleotide procedure and overexpression analysis were used to determine whether scleraxis regulates the expression of Sertoli cell differentiated gene products. An antisense oligonucleotide to scleraxis down-regulated transferrin promoter activity in Sertoli cells. A transient overexpression of scleraxis in Sertoli cells stimulated transferrin and androgen binding protein promoter activities and the expression of a number of differentiated genes. Observations suggest scleraxis functions in a number of adult tissues and is involved in the regulation and maintenance of Sertoli cell function and differentiation. This is one of the first adult and nontendon/chondrocyte-associated functions described for scleraxis.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 8553441
Created: 2014-05-08
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2014-05-08
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.