Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Conference Paper

Orphan nuclear receptor regulation of reproduction

K. Bertolin, A-M. Bellefleur, C. Zhang, B.D. Murphy

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Orphan nuclear receptors, those without known ligands, were discovered because of their structural similarity to the ligand-driven steroid and thyroid receptors. Since their characterization, many of the orphan receptors have been adopted, i.e., ligands, usually lipids or derived lipids, have been discovered. The orphan receptors are transcriptional regulators, functioning in the reproductive context to upregulate or suppress gene expression. By this means, the orphan receptors regulate a plethora of reproductive events. In the majority of cases, the effects are stimulatory, indeed, members of the NR2 family promote Leydig cell differentiation and testicular steroidogenesis, while those of the NR4 family regulate early gestation and placental formation. The NR5 family has two members, steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1, NR5A1) and liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1, NR5A2). These receptors interact with the same DNA sequence and are believed to be constitutive transcription factors. Their effects are modulated by the repressive effects of the NR0 family of orphan receptors that comprise the short heterodimeric partner (SHP, NR0B2) and dosagesensitive sex reversal adrenal hypoplasia congenital region on the X chromosome, gene 1 (DAX1, NROB1). SHP and DAX1 inhibit the interaction of LRH-1 and SF-1 with coactivators, thereby reducing their constitutive transcriptional effects. Overall, the orphan nuclear receptors are essential regulators of reproductive function in mammals.


NR5A1, NR5A2, orphan nuclear receptor, ovary, ovulation, testis.
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