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      Changes in Gene Expression during Wolffian Duct Development

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          Background: Wolffian ducts (WDs) are the embryonic precursors of the male reproductive tract. Their development is induced by testosterone, which interacts with the androgen receptor (AR). The molecular pathways underlying androgen-dependent WD development are largely unknown. We aimed to identify AR target genes important in this process. Methods: RNA was isolated from rat WDs at E17.5 and E20.5. Affymetrix GeneChip expression arrays were used to identify transcripts up- or downregulated more than 2-fold. Regulation of seven transcripts was confirmed using quantitative PCR. Results: Transcripts from 76 known genes were regulated, including modulators of insulin-like growth factor and transforming growth factor-βsignalling. By controlling these modulators, androgens may indirectly affect growth factor signalling pathways important in epithelial–mesenchymal interactions and organ development. Caveolin-1, also upregulated, may play a role in modifying as well as mediating AR signalling. Differentiation of WD epithelium and smooth muscle, innervation and extracellular matrix synthesis were reflected in regulation of other transcripts. Several genes were previously suggested to be regulated by androgens or contained functional or putative androgen/glucocorticoid response elements, indicating they may be direct targets of androgen signalling. Conclusion: Our results suggest novel cohorts of signals that may contribute to androgen-dependent WD development and provide hypotheses that can be tested by future studies.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Caveolin-1 interacts with androgen receptor. A positive modulator of androgen receptor mediated transactivation.

          Androgen receptor (AR) belongs to the steroid hormone nuclear receptor superfamily. It functions as an androgen-dependent transcriptional factor that regulates genes for cell proliferation and differentiation. Caveolin is a principal component of caveolae membranes serving as a scaffold protein of many signal transduction pathways. Recent results correlate caveolin-1 expression with androgen sensitivity in murine prostate cancer. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining of patient specimens suggests that caveolin expression may be an independent predictor of progression of prostate cancer. In this study, we investigate the potential interactions between AR signaling and caveolin-1 and demonstrate that overexpression of caveolin-1 potentiates ligand-dependent AR activation. Conversely, down-regulation of caveolin-1 expression by a caveolin-1 antisense expression construct can down-regulate ligand-dependent AR activation. Association between these two molecules is also demonstrated by co-localization of AR with caveolin-rich, low-density membrane fractions isolated by an equilibrium sucrose gradient centrifugation method. Co-immunoprecipitation and glutathione S-transferase fusion protein pull-down experiments demonstrate that interaction between AR and caveolin-1 is an androgen-dependent process, offering further evidence for a physiological role of this interaction. Using a mammalian two-hybrid assay system, we determine that the NH(2) terminus region of caveolin-1 is responsible for the interaction with both the NH(2)-terminal domain and the ligand-binding domain of AR.
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            Syk protein-tyrosine kinase is regulated by tyrosine-phosphorylated Ig alpha/Ig beta immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motif binding and autophosphorylation.

            Syk is a cytoplasmic protein-tyrosine kinase containing two amino-terminal Src homology 2 domains that is activated following ligation of the B cell antigen receptor. Syk activation in B cells correlates with Syk tyrosine phosphorylation as well as with Syk SH2-mediated association with the tyrosine-phosphorylated Ig alpha and Ig beta B cell antigen receptor subunits. Tyrosine-phosphorylated peptide 20-mers representing Ig alpha and Ig beta immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motifs were synthesized and found to stimulate the specific activity of Syk by as much as 10-fold in vitro. Maximal phosphopeptide-induced Syk activation required both Syk SH2 domains and phosphorylation of both tyrosine residues present in the immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motif. The biochemical mechanism responsible for the phosphopeptide-induced Syk enzyme activation appears to be a function of Syk autophosphorylation. Our observations suggest the association of Syk tandem SH2 domains with the tyrosine-phosphorylated Ig alpha and/or Ig beta immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motifs in B cells stimulates Syk autophosphorylation leading to Syk enzyme activation.
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              Cyr61 and Fisp12 are both ECM-associated signaling molecules: activities, metabolism, and localization during development.

              cyr61 and fisp12 are homologous immediate-early genes that are transcriptionally activated upon growth factor stimulation in fibroblasts. Their gene products belong to an emerging family of secreted proteins with a high degree of sequence homology, including conservation of all 38 cysteine residues in their secreted portions. We have recently shown that Cyr61 is an extracellular matrix (ECM) signaling molecule that promotes cell proliferation, migration, and adhesion. We describe herein the first purification of the Fisp12 protein and we compare the activities of purified Cyr61 and Fisp12, their metabolism, targeting, and their localization during development. Although Fisp12 is the mouse homolog of the human connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), it has no detectable mitogenic activity by itself. Rather, Fisp12 enhances fibroblast growth factor-induced DNA synthesis. The activities of Fisp12 and Cyr61 are nearly indistinguishable in three cell types tested: fibroblasts, endothelial, and epithelial cells. Both proteins are found in the ECM, although Cyr61 associates with the ECM more strongly and binds heparin with higher affinity. Fisp12, but not Cyr61, is also found in the culture medium, suggesting that Fisp12 might be able to act at a distance from its site of secretion, whereas Cyr61 might act more locally. Both secreted proteins are internalized and degraded through the lysosomal pathway, suggesting interaction with cell surface receptors. Both Cyr61 and Fisp12 are found in the placenta and the circulatory system as detected by immunohistochemistry, whereas Cyr61, but not Fisp12, is found in the skeletal and nervous systems. Fisp12, but not Cyr61, is found in secretory organs. Taken together, we propose that Cyr61 and Fisp12 are both signaling cell adhesion molecules that have similar or overlapping activities, and their differential sites of localization and targeting may dictate specificity in their biological roles.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                April 2006
                09 May 2006
                : 65
                : 4
                : 200-209
                Departments of aPaediatrics, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, bPathology, and cObstetrics and Gynaecology, The Rosie Hospital, University of Cambridge, and dMRC Cancer Cell Unit, Hutchison/MRC Research Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge, UK
                92408 Horm Res 2006;65:200–209
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 48, Pages: 10
                Original Paper


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