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Friday 24 November 2000

Lipoproteins regulate expression of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) in mouse adrenocortical cells.

By: Reyland ME, Evans RM, White EK.

J Biol Chem 2000 Nov 24;275(47):36637-44

The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is required for the movement of cholesterol from the outer to the inner mitochondrial membrane, the site of cholesterol side chain cleavage. Here we describe a novel form of regulation of StAR gene expression in steroidogenic cells. Treatment of Y-1 BS1 adrenocortical cells with either low density lipoprotein (LDL) or high density lipoprotein (HDL) increases expression of endogenous StAR mRNA and protein in a dose-dependent manner. Induction of StAR mRNA by lipoprotein requires basal cAMP-dependent protein kinase, since the inhibitor, R(p)-8-Br-cAMP, inhibited induction of StAR protein by LDL. Likewise, basal StAR expression or LDL induction of StAR protein was not detectable in Y-1 kin-8 cells which are deficient in cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Aminoglutethimide and ketoconazole were used to determine if side chain cleavage of lipoprotein-derived cholesterol is required for induction of StAR mRNA. Treatment with either drug alone induced StAR mRNA expression 1.5-3-fold, while induction of StAR in cells treated with either drug plus LDL, was equal to, or greater than, induction seen with either agent alone, suggesting that lipoprotein does not regulate StAR via generation of an oxysterol intermediate. Both LDL and HDL increased expression of a mouse -966 StAR promoter-reporter construct 1.5-2.5-fold, indicating that regulation occurs at the level of transcription. In contrast, neither lipoprotein was able to induce transcription from a -966 StAR promoter in which the steroidogenic factor-1 site at -135 was abolished, indicating that regulation of StAR transcription by lipoproteins requires steroidogenic factor-1. The regulation of StAR gene expression by lipoproteins may represent a positive feedback circuit which links cholesterol availability with steroidogenic output.

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