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10 August 2011 Transcriptional Suppression of Sertoli Cell Timp2 in Rodents Following Mono-(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate Exposure Is Regulated by CEBPA and MYC
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Abstract

Our previous studies showed that the prototypical testicular toxic phthalate monoester, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), suppresses Sertoli cell TIMP2 levels and allows for the activation of MMP2 in seminiferous epithelium. Activation of MMP2 is important for triggering germ cell apoptosis and instigating germ cell detachment from Sertoli cells. These novel findings led us to examine the transcriptional regulation of the Timp2 gene that accounts for the decrease in Sertoli cell TIMP2 levels following MEHP exposure. Sequential deletion of the Timp2 5′-upstream activating sequence (1200 bp) was used to survey transcriptional activation in the Timp2 promoter region in response to MEHP. Results indicate that under control conditions in rat Sertoli cells, CCAAT enhancer-binding protein alpha (CEBPA) acts as a transactivator to initiate Timp2 gene transcription, and its action is deactivated by exposure to MEHP. By contrast, MYC protein acts as an inhibitor of Timp2 gene transcription, and its activity is increased after MEHP treatment. Addition of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to cells causes translocation of CEBPA into the Sertoli cell nucleus and rescues MEHP-suppressed TIMP2 levels. Down-regulation of TIMP2 expression by MEHP exposure is blocked by forskolin (a cAMP-elevating agent), suggesting that the decrease in Sertoli cell TIMP2 expression following MEHP exposure is cAMP-dependent. Taken together, these data indicate that MEHP both disrupts the FSH-stimulated cAMP signaling pathway and activates the inhibitory signaling mediated by MYC protein, to ultimately account for the cellular mechanism underlying the decreased expression of TIMP2 in Sertoli cells.

Pei-Li Yao, Yi-Chen Lin, and John H. Richburg "Transcriptional Suppression of Sertoli Cell Timp2 in Rodents Following Mono-(2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate Exposure Is Regulated by CEBPA and MYC," Biology of Reproduction 85(6), 1203-1215, (10 August 2011). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.111.093484
Received: 24 May 2011; Accepted: 1 July 2011; Published: 10 August 2011
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