Prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2alpha) brings about regression of the bovine corpus luteum (CL). This luteolytic property of PGF2alpha is used in beef and dairy cattle to synchronize estrus. A limitation of this protocol is insensitivity of the early CL to luteolytic actions of PGF2alpha. The mechanisms underlying this differential luteal sensitivity are poorly understood. The developing CL has a maximum number of PGF2alpha receptors; therefore, differences in signaling events may be responsible for luteal insensitivity. Hence, differential gene expression at two developmental stages of CL, Day 4 (D-4) and D-10 after estrus, might account for differences in signal transduction pathways associated with luteal sensitivity. This possibility was examined in these studies. Microarray analysis (n = 3 cows per stage) identified 167 genes that were differentially expressed (P < 0.05). These were categorized into genes involved in protein biosynthesis and modification (18.5%), transcription regulation and DNA biosynthesis (18.5%), miscellaneous (17.0%), cell signaling (12.0%), steroidogenesis and metabolism (10.2%), extracellular matrix and cytoskeletal proteins (9.5%), unknown functions (6.0%), protein degradation (5.3%), and antioxidant property (3.0%). Real-time PCR confirmed the differential expression of nine selected genes, including tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygense activation protein zeta polypeptide (YWHAZ) and regulator of G protein signaling 2 24-kDa (RGS2), observed in microarray. Furthermore, the in vivo effect of exogenous PGF2alpha (n = 3 cows per stage) on selected genes that were found to be differentially expressed during this developmental transition was examined. PGF2alpha increased the expression of a guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein) beta polypeptide 1 (GNB1) in D-4 CL and calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase kinase 2 beta (CAMKK2) in D-10 CL. Therefore, GNB1, CAMKK2, YWHAZ, and RGS2 are candidate genes that may have a significant role in acquisition of luteal sensitivity to PGF2alpha. Additional evidence supporting the significance of the microarray data was obtained from the observation that the amount of CAMKK2 paralleled the differential mRNA expression observed for this gene when examined by microarray analysis and by real-time RT-PCR. Furthermore, the two types of luteal steroidogenic cells known to be targets for PGF2alpha actions were demonstrated to be a cellular source for CAMKK2.
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Vol. 80 • No. 5