Jun proteins modulate the ovary-specific promoter of aromatase gene in ovarian granulosa cells via a cAMP-responsive element

Sagar Ghosh, Yimin Wu, Rong Li, Yanfen Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Estrogen is critical to both normal mammary gland and breast cancer development. Circulating levels of estrogen in premenopausal women are primarily determined by the action of aromatase in ovarian granulosa cells that converts testosterone to estradiol. In the current study, we unraveled an important role of Jun proteins in modulating ovary-specific aromatase expression. Ectopic expression of the Jun proteins in a human granulosa cell line significantly inhibited an ovary-specific promoter (PII) of the aromatase gene, whereas expression of dominant-negative mutants of Jun led to increased promoter activity. The Jun-mediated repression was specific to the aromatase promoter, as Jun proteins stimulated known AP1-responsive promoters in the same cellular context. Both the activation and basic leucine zipper domains of Jun were required for the transcriptional repression. Electrophoretic gel mobility assay showed that endogenous Jun proteins bound to a functionally important cAMP-responsive element (CRE) in the PII promoter-proximal region. Alteration of the CRE-like site impaired both the cAMP-responsive transcriptional activation and Jun-mediated repression. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated the presence of cJun at the proximal region of the native PII promoter. Taken together, our work suggests that Jun proteins may attenuate estrogen biosynthesis by directly downregulating transcription of the aromatase gene in ovarian granulosa cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2236-2246
Number of pages11
JournalOncogene
Volume24
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 24 2005

Keywords

  • Aromatase
  • Granulosa cells
  • Jun
  • Ovary
  • Transcriptional repression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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