The present studies were designed to determine the role of progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), PGRMC2, progestin and adipoQ receptor 7 (PAQR7), and progesterone receptor (PGR) in mediating the antimitotic action of progesterone (P4) in human granulosa/luteal cells. For these studies granulosa/luteal cells of 10 women undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation were isolated, maintained in culture, and depleted of PGRMC1, PGRMC2, PAQR7, or PGR by siRNA treatment. The rate of entry into the cell cycle was assessed using the FUCCI cell cycle sensor to determine the percentage of cells in the G1/S stage of the cell cycle. PGRMC1, PGRMC2, PAQR7, and PGR mRNA levels were assessed by real-time PCR and their interactions monitored by in situ proximity ligation assays (PLAs). These studies revealed that PGRMC1, PGRMC2, PAQR7, and PGR were expressed by granulosa/luteal cells from all patients, with PGRMC1 mRNA being most abundant, followed by PAQR7, PGRMC2, and PGR. However, their mRNA levels showed considerable patient variation. P4's ability to suppress entry into the cell cycle was dependent on PGRMC1, PGRMC2, and PAQR7 but not PGR. Moreover, PLAs indicated that PGRMC1, PGRMC2, and PAQR7 formed a complex within the cytoplasm. Based on these studies, it is proposed that these three P4 mediators form a complex within the cytoplasm that is required for P4's action. Moreover, P4's ability to regulate human follicle development may be dependent in part on the expression levels of each of these P4 mediators.
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Vol. 93 • No. 3