Progesterone and mifepristone regulate L-type amino acid transporter 2 and 4F2 heavy chain expression in uterine leiomyoma cells

Xia Luo, Ping Yin, Scott Reierstad, Hiroshi Ishikawa, Zhihong Lin, Mary Ellen Pavone, Hong Zhao, Erica E. Marsh, Serdar E. Bulun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Context: Progesterone and its receptor (PR) play key roles in uterine leiomyoma growth. Previously, using chromatin immunoprecipitation-based cloning, we uncovered L-type amino acid transporter 2 (LAT2) as a novel PR target gene. LAT2 forms heterodimeric complexes with 4F2 heavy chain (4F2hc), a single transmembrane domain protein essential for LAT2 to exert its function in the plasma membrane. Until now, little is known about the roles of LAT2/4F2hc in the regulation of the growth of human uterine leiomyoma. Objective: The aim of the study is to investigate the regulation of LAT2 and 4F2hc by progesterone and the antiprogestin mifepristone and their functions in primary human uterine leiomyoma smooth muscle (LSM) cells and tissues from 39 premenopausal women. Results: In primary LSM cells, progesterone significantly induced LAT2 mRNA levels, and this was blocked by cotreatment with mifepristone. Progesterone did not alter 4F2hc mRNA levels, whereas mifepristone significantly induced 4F2hc mRNA expression. Small interfering RNA knockdown of LAT2 or 4F2hc markedly increased LSM cell proliferation. LAT2, PR-B, and PR-A levels were significantly higher in freshly isolated LSM cells vs. adjacent myometrial cells. In vivo, mRNA levels of LAT2 and PR but not 4F2hc were significantly higher in leiomyoma tissues compared with matched myometrial tissues. Conclusion: We present evidence that progesterone and its antagonist mifepristone regulate the amino acid transporter system LAT2/4F2hc in leiomyoma tissues and cells. Our findings suggest that products of the LAT2/4F2hc genes may play important roles in leiomyoma cell proliferation. We speculate that critical ratios of LAT2 to 4F2hc regulate leiomyoma growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4533-4539
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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