Leydig cell tumors (LCTs) of the testis are steroid-secreting tumors associated with various steroid biosynthetic abnormalities and endocrine dysfunctions. Despite their overall rarity, LCTs are still of substantial interest owing to the paucity of information regarding their exact nature and malignant potential. In the present study, we disclose the ability of androgens to inhibit Leydig tumor cell proliferation by opposing to self-sufficient in situ estrogen production. In rat Leydig tumor cells, R2C, androgen treatment significantly decreases the expression and the enzymatic activity of cytocrome P450 aromatase, responsible for the local conversion of androgens into estrogens. This inhibitory effect relies on androgen receptor (AR) activation and involves negative regulation of the CYP19 gene transcriptional activity through the nuclear orphan receptor DAX-1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia critical region, on chromosome X, gene 1). Ligand-activated AR up-regulates the expression of DAX-1 and promotes its increased recruitment within the steroidogenic factor-1 site-containing region of the aromatase proximal promoter II in association with the nuclear receptor corepressor. The biological relevance in LCTs of the newly highlighted functional interplay between AR, DAX-1, and aromatase is underlined by our in vivo observations, revealing a marked down-regulation of AR and DAX-1 expression and a strong increase in aromatase levels in testes tissues from old Fischer rats with spontaneously developed Leydig cell neoplasia, compared with normal testes tissues from younger animals. In elucidating a mechanism by which androgens modulate the growth of Leydig tumor cells, our finding support the hypothesis that maintaining the adequate balance between androgen and estrogens may represent the key for blocking estrogen-secreting Leydigioma development, opening new prospects for therapeutic intervention.

Androgens inhibit aromatase expression through DAX-1: insights into the molecular link between hormone balance and Leydig cancer development

Maris P;Campana A;Barone I;Giordano C;Morelli C;Malivindi R;SISCI, Diego;Aquila S;Rago V;BONOFIGLIO, Daniela;CATALANO, Stefania;LANZINO, Marilena;ANDO', Sebastiano
2015

Abstract

Leydig cell tumors (LCTs) of the testis are steroid-secreting tumors associated with various steroid biosynthetic abnormalities and endocrine dysfunctions. Despite their overall rarity, LCTs are still of substantial interest owing to the paucity of information regarding their exact nature and malignant potential. In the present study, we disclose the ability of androgens to inhibit Leydig tumor cell proliferation by opposing to self-sufficient in situ estrogen production. In rat Leydig tumor cells, R2C, androgen treatment significantly decreases the expression and the enzymatic activity of cytocrome P450 aromatase, responsible for the local conversion of androgens into estrogens. This inhibitory effect relies on androgen receptor (AR) activation and involves negative regulation of the CYP19 gene transcriptional activity through the nuclear orphan receptor DAX-1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal, adrenal hypoplasia critical region, on chromosome X, gene 1). Ligand-activated AR up-regulates the expression of DAX-1 and promotes its increased recruitment within the steroidogenic factor-1 site-containing region of the aromatase proximal promoter II in association with the nuclear receptor corepressor. The biological relevance in LCTs of the newly highlighted functional interplay between AR, DAX-1, and aromatase is underlined by our in vivo observations, revealing a marked down-regulation of AR and DAX-1 expression and a strong increase in aromatase levels in testes tissues from old Fischer rats with spontaneously developed Leydig cell neoplasia, compared with normal testes tissues from younger animals. In elucidating a mechanism by which androgens modulate the growth of Leydig tumor cells, our finding support the hypothesis that maintaining the adequate balance between androgen and estrogens may represent the key for blocking estrogen-secreting Leydigioma development, opening new prospects for therapeutic intervention.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/142271
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