Cloning, Expression and Hormonal Regulation of Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory Protein Gene in Buffalo Ovary

  • Malhotra, Nupur (Molecular Endocrinology Lab., Division of Animal Biochemistry, National Dairy Research Institute) ;
  • Singh, Dheer (Molecular Endocrinology Lab., Division of Animal Biochemistry, National Dairy Research Institute) ;
  • Sharma, M.K. (Molecular Endocrinology Lab., Division of Animal Biochemistry, National Dairy Research Institute)
  • Received : 2005.09.29
  • Accepted : 2006.03.22
  • Published : 2007.02.01


In mammalian ovary, steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein mediates the true rate-limiting step of transport of cholesterol from outer to inner mitochondrial membrane. Appropriate expression of StAR gene represents an indispensable component of steroidogenesis and its regulation has been found to be species specific. However, limited information is available regarding StAR gene expression during estrous cycle in buffalo ovary. In the present study, expression, localization and hormonal regulation of StAR mRNA were analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR in buffalo ovary and partial cDNA was cloned. Total RNA was isolated from whole follicles of different sizes, granulosa cells from different size follicles and postovulatory structures like corpus luteum and Corpus albicans. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analyses showed StAR mRNA expression in the postovulatory structure, corpus luteum. No StAR mRNA was detected in total RNA isolated from whole follicles of different size including the preovulatory follicle (>9 mm in diameter). However, granulosa cells isolated from preovulatory follicles showed the moderate expression of StAR mRNA. To assess the hormonal regulation of StAR mRNA, primary culture of buffalo granulosa cells were treated with FSH (100 ng/ml) alone or along with IGF-I (100 ng/ml) for 12 to 18 h. The abundance of StAR mRNA increased in cells treated with FSH alone or FSH with IGF-I. However, effect of FSH with IGF-I on mRNA expression was found highly significant (p<0.01). In conclusion, differential expression of StAR messages was observed during estrous cycle in buffalo ovary. Also, there was a synergistic action of IGF-I on FSH stimulation of StAR gene.



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