The serine-threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a heterotrimeric enzyme complex that plays a vital role in regulating male reproductive activities. However, as an essential member of the PP2A family, the physiological functions of PP2A regulatory subunit B55α (PPP2R2A) in testis remain inconclusive. Hu sheep are noted for their reproductive precocity and fertility, and are ideal models for the study of male reproductive physiology. Here, we analyzed the expression patterns of PPP2R2A in the male Hu sheep reproductive tract at different developmental stages and further investigated its role in testosterone secretion and its underlying mechanisms. In this study, we found that there were temporal and spatial differences in PPP2R2A protein expression in the testis and epididymis, especially the expression abundance in the testis at 8 months old (8M) was higher than that at 3 months old (3M). Interestingly, we observed that PPP2R2A interference reduced the testosterone levels in the cell culture medium, which is accompanied by a reduction in Leydig cell proliferation and an elevation in Leydig cell apoptosis. The level of reactive oxygen species in cells increased significantly, while the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) decreased significantly after PPP2R2A deletion. Meanwhile, the mitochondrial mitotic protein DNM1L was significantly upregulated, while the mitochondrial fusion proteins MFN1/2 and OPA1 were significantly downregulated after PPP2R2A interference. Furthermore, PPP2R2A interference suppressed the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Taken together, our data indicated that PPP2R2A enhanced testosterone secretion, promoted cell proliferation, and inhibited cell apoptosis in vitro, all of which were associated with the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.
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Xiaodan Li, Xiaolei Yao, Yongjin Bao, Kaiping Deng, Mingtian Deng, Fan Yang, Xuan Sun, Peihua You, Qingxian Cai, and Feng Wang
Ting-Ting Zhou, Fei Ma, Xiao-Fan Shi, Xin Xu, Te Du, Xiao-Dan Guo, Gai-Hong Wang, Liang Yu, Vatcharin Rukachaisirikul, Li-Hong Hu, Jing Chen, and Xu Shen
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic metabolic disease with complicated pathogenesis and targeting gluconeogenesis inhibition is a promising strategy for anti-diabetic drug discovery. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are classified as distinct families by heterotrimeric G proteins, primarily including Gαs, Gαi and Gαq. Gαs-coupled GPCRs function potently in the regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis by activating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway and Gαi-coupled GPCRs exhibit inhibitory effect on adenylyl cyclase and reduce intracellular cAMP level. However, little is known about the regulation of Gαq-coupled GPCRs in hepatic gluconeogenesis. Here, small-molecule 2-(2,4-dimethoxy-3-methylphenyl)-7-(thiophen-2-yl)-9-(trifluoromethyl)-2,3-dihydropyrido[3′,2′:4,5]thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-one (DMT) was determined to suppress hepatic glucose production and reduce mRNA levels of gluconeogenic genes. Treatment of DMT in db/db mice decreased fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) levels, while improved glucose tolerance and pyruvate tolerance. Mechanism study demonstrated that DMT-inhibited gluconeogenesis by regulating the Gαq/phospholipase C (PLC)/inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R)-mediated calcium (Ca2+)/calmodulin (CaM)/phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) signaling pathway. To our knowledge, DMT might be the first reported small molecule able to suppress hepatic gluconeogenesis by regulating Gαq signaling, and our current work has also highlighted the potential of DMT in the treatment of T2DM.