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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Suppression of steroidogenesis and activator protein-1 transcription factor activity in rat adrenals by vitamin E deficiency-induced chronic oxidative stress.

Excessive oxidative stress and associated macromolecular damage are considered to be key features of aging, and appear to contribute to the age-related decline in steroid hormone production in adrenal and testicular Leydig cells. The current studies were initiated to examine the potential mechanism by which excessive oxidative stress during aging attenuates the functional expression of the oxidant-responsive transcription factor Activator protein-1. Chronic oxidative stress was induced in vivo by maintaining groups of rats on a diet deficient in vitamin E for 6 months. Plasma, liver, and adrenal tissues from vitamin E-deficient animals had negligible levels of this vitamin and showed high susceptibility to in vitro lipid peroxidation. Synthesis and secretion of corticosterone in response to corticotropin (ACTH), dibutyryl-cAMP, or 20alpha-hydroxycholesterol in vitro was significantly reduced in adrenocortical cells prepared cells from rats deficient in vitamin E. AP-1 DNA-binding activity was diminished approximately 55 % in adrenal extracts from vitamin E-deficient rats with no corresponding change in the binding activity of SP-1. The vitamin E deficiency-mediated loss of AP-1 activity was not due to an alteration in the dimeric composition of constituent proteins, but rather to a general down-regulation of steady-state levels of members of the Fos and Jun families of proteins. Interestingly, vitamin E deficiency also reduced the expression of the redox-regulated Ref-1 protein. Collectively these data demonstrate that chronic oxidative stress specifically down-regulates essential components of the AP-1 transcription factor complex, and suggest that aberrancies in AP-1 expression may adversely affect processes crucial for intracellular cholesterol transport and steroid hormone production.[1]


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