Follicle-stimulating Hormone Activation of Hypoxia-inducible Factor-1 by the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/AKT/Ras Homolog Enriched in Brain (Rheb)/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Pathway Is Necessary for Induction of Select Protein Markers of Follicular Differentiation

Hena Alam, Evelyn T. Maizels, Youngkyu Park, Shail Ghaey, Zachary J. Feiger, Navdeep S. Chandel, Mary Hunzicker-Dunn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations

Abstract

We sought to elucidate the role of AKT in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-mediated granulosa cell (GC) differentiation. Our results define a signaling pathway in GCs whereby the inactivating phosphorylation of tuberin downstream of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase/AKT activity leads to Rheb (Ras homolog enriched in brain) and subsequent mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) activation. mTOR then stimulates translation by phosphorylating p70 S6 kinase and, consequently, the 40 S ribosomal protein S6. Activation of this pathway is required for FSH-mediated induction of several follicular differentiation markers, including luteinizing-hormone receptor (LHR), inhibin-α, microtubule-associated protein 2D, and the PKA type IIβ regulatory subunit. FSH also promotes activation of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). FSH-stimulated HIF-1 activity is inhibited by the PI 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, the Rheb inhibitor FTI-277 (farnesyltransferase inhibitor-277), and the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Finally, we find that the FSH-mediated upregulation of reporter activities for LHR, inhibin-α, and vascular endothelial growth factor is dependent upon HIF-1 activity, because a dominant negative form of HIF-1α interferes with the up-regulation of these genes. These results show that FSH enhances HIF-1 activity downstream of the PI 3-kinase/AKT/Rheb/mTOR pathway in GCs and that HIF-1 activity is necessary for FSH to induce multiple follicular differentiation markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19431-19440
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume279
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - May 7 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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