Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

SOHLH1 and SOHLH2 directly down-regulate STIMULATED BY RETINOIC ACID 8 (STRA8) expression.

PMID 25603532


As the name implies, Stimulated by Retinoic Acid 8 is an early retinoic acid (RA) responsive gene pivotal for the beginning of meiosis in female and male germ cells. Its expression is strictly time-dependent and cell-specific (pre-meiotic germ cells) and likely requires a complex mechanism of regulation. In this study, we demonstrate a direct negative control of SOHLH1 and SOHLH2, 2 germ cell specific bHLH transcription factors, on Stra8 expression. We observed a negative correlation between STRA8 and SOHLH1 expression in prepuberal differentiating mouse KIT(+) spermatogonia and found that SOHLH1 and SOHLH2 were able to directly and cooperatively repress STRA8 expression in cell lines in vitro through binding to its promoter. We also identified 2 canonical E-Box motives in the Stra8 promoter that mediated the negative regulation of SOHLH1 and SOHLH2 on these gene both in the cell lines and KIT(+) spermatogonia. We hypothesize that this novel negative activity of SOHLH1 and SOHLH2 in male cooperates with that of other transcription factors to coordinate spermatogonia differentiation and the RA-induced meiosis and in female ensures STRA8 down-regulation at mid-end stages of meiotic prophase I.