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

In vitro regulation of granulosa cell differentiation. Involvement of cytoskeletal protein expression.

The link between the biochemical and morphological differentiation of granulosa cells was studied by investigating the organization and the expression of cytoskeletal proteins which determine cell shape and contacts. In cells treated with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), in a serum- and growth factor-free medium, or with other compounds which elevate cellular cAMP levels, the synthesis of the adherens junction proteins, vinculin, alpha-actinin, and actin was reduced significantly when compared to unstimulated cells (7-fold for vinculin, 5-fold for alpha-actinin, and 3-fold for actin). The in vitro translatability of the mRNAs coding for these proteins and the level of actin mRNA determined by RNA blot hybridization were generally reduced in differentiating cells. The synthesis and the organization of vimentin and tubulin was unaffected during this process, whereas the organization of actin and vinculin was dramatically affected, with FSH-treated cells displaying a diffuse pattern of actin and vinculin, with very little vinculin in adhesion plaques. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist and the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate which are known to antagonize the cAMP-mediated biochemical differentiation of granulosa cells by reducing cAMP levels or by activating protein kinase C and phospholipid turnover, blocked to a large extent the FSH-induced effect on the adherens junction proteins. Epidermal growth factor, which blocked the FSH-induced cAMP increase, but not the FSH-induced progesterone production, failed to block the synthesis of vinculin, alpha-actinin, and actin. Cytochalasin B could induce steroidogenesis and similar changes in the synthesis of these cytoskeletal proteins, whereas fibronectin, which causes cell spreading, blocked in part the FSH-induced effect on the expression of cytoskeletal proteins. The modulation of cytoskeletal proteins may therefore be an essential feature of programmed differentiation events leading to the final phenotype of granulosa cells.[1]


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