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Transcriptional control of adrenal steroidogenesis: novel connection between Janus kinase (JAK) 2 protein and protein kinase a (PKA) through stabilization of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) transcription factor

Lefrancois-Martinez, A.-M.; Blondet-Trichard, A.; Binart, N.; Val, P.; Chambon, C.él.; Sahut-Barnola, I.; Pointud, J.-C.; Martinez, A.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 286(38): 32976-32985

2011


ISSN/ISBN: 1083-351X
PMID: 21808064
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m111.218016
Accession: 056636639

In the adrenal gland, adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) acting through the cAMP protein kinase (PKA) transduction pathway is the main regulator of genes involved in glucocorticoid synthesis. The prolactin (PRL) receptor is expressed in the adrenal cortex of most mammals, but experimental proof that PRL ensures direct control on glucocorticoid synthesis in rodents remains elusive. To unravel the physiological importance of PRL in adrenocortical functions, we measured steroidogenic capacity of Prlr-deficient mice (Prlr(-/-)) and explored the influence of JAK/STAT signaling, the major PRL transduction pathway, on the steroidogenic activity of adrenocortical cell cultures. We demonstrate that lack of Prlr does not affect basal (nor stress-induced) corticosterone levels in mice. PRL triggers JAK2/STAT5-dependent transcription in adrenal cells, but this does not influence corticosterone release. In contrast, pharmacological or siRNA-mediated inhibition of JAK2 reveals its essential role in both basal and ACTH/cAMP-induced steroidogenesis. We demonstrate that nuclear JAK2 regulates the amount of active transcription factor CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein) through tyrosine phosphorylation and prevention of proteasomal degradation, which in turn leads to transcriptional activation of the rate-limiting steroidogenic Star gene. Hence, we describe a novel link between PKA and JAK2 by which nuclear JAK2 signaling controls adrenal steroidogenesis by increasing the stability of CREB.

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