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• Gonadotropin regulation of fish ovarian steroidogenesis mediated through GPCR revealed interactions of cAMP, calmodulin, CaMKs and MAP kinase pathways.
• Gonadotropin in fish ovary trans-activate membrane-bound EGFR and activate ERK1/2 signaling for steroid production.
• GonadotrtH-induced trans-activation of EGFR in the fish ovary uniquely requires matrix-metalloproteinase-mediated release of EGF.
• IGF-I and insulin alone can induce fish ovarian steroidogenesis through activation of PI3 kinase and MAP kinase.
Gonadal steroidogenesis is critical for survival and reproduction of all animals. The pathways that regulate gonadal steroidogenesis are therefore conserved among animals from the steroidogenic enzymes to the intracellular signaling molecules and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that mediate the activity of these enzymes. Regulation of fish ovarian steroidogenesis in vitro by gonadotropin (GtH) and GPCRs revealed interaction between adenylate cyclase and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMKs) and also MAP kinase pathway. Recent studies revealed another important pathway in GtH-induced fish ovarian steroidogenesis: cross talk between GPCRs and membrane receptor tyrosine kinases. Gonadotropin binding to Gαs-coupled membrane receptor in fish ovary leads to production of cAMP which in turn trans-activate the membrane-bound epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). This is followed by activation of ERK1/2 signaling that promotes steroid production. Interestingly, GtH-induced trans-activation of EGFR in the fish ovary uniquely requires matrix-metalloproteinase-mediated release of EGF. Inhibition of these proteases blocks GtH-induced steroidogenesis. Increased cAMP production in fish ovarian follicle upregulate follicular cyp19a1a mRNA expression and aromatase activity leading to increased biosynthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2). Evidence for involvement of SF-1 protein in inducing cyp19a1a mRNA and aromatase activity has also been demonstrated. In addition to GtH, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine insulin can alone induced steroidogenesis in fish ovary. In intact follicles and isolated theca cells, IGF-I and insulin had no effect on GtH-induced testosterone and 17a,hydroxysprogeaterone production. GtH-stimulated E2 and 17,20bdihydroxy-4-pregnane 3-one production in granulosa cells however, was significantly increased by IGF-I and insulin. Both IGF-I and insulin mediates their signaling via receptor tyrosine kinases leading to activation of PI3 kinase/Akt and MAP kinase. These kinase signals then activates steroidogenic enzymes which promotes steroid production. PI3 kinase, therefore considered to be an initial component of the signal transduction pathways which precedes MAP kinase in IGF-1 and insulininduced steroidogenesis in fish ovary. Thus, investigation on the mechanism of signal transduction regulating fish ovarian steroidogenesis have shown that multiple, apparently independent signal transduction pathways are needed to convey the message of single hormone or growth factor.
Journal: General and Comparative Endocrinology - Volume 240, 1 January 2017, Pages 10–18