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1.  Developmental Expression of Translocator Protein/Peripheral Benzodiazepine Receptor in Reproductive Tissues 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74509.
Translocator protein (TSPO) present in the outer mitochondrial membrane has been suggested to be critical for cholesterol import, a rate-limiting step for steroid hormone biosynthesis. Despite the importance of steroidogenesis in regulating reproductive functions, the developmental profile of TSPO expression in the gonads and accessory sex organs has not been completely characterized. As a first step towards understanding the function of TSPO, we studied its expression in male and female murine reproductive organs. We examined testes and ovaries at embryonic days 14.5 and 18.5, and postnatal days 0, 7, 14, 21 and 56 of development. In the adult testis, TSPO was expressed in both Leydig cells and Sertoli cells. In the developing testes TSPO expression was seen in immature Sertoli cells, fetal Leydig cells and gonocytes. In the ovary, TSPO was expressed in the ovarian surface epithelium, interstitial cells granulosa cells and luteal cells. Corpora lutea of ovaries from pregnant mice showed strong expression of TSPO. In the developing ovary, TSPO expression was seen in the squamous pregranulosa cells associated with germ line cysts, together with progressively increasing expression in interstitial cells and the ovarian surface epithelium. In adult mice, the epithelia of other reproductive tissues like the epididymis, prostate, seminal vesicle, oviduct and uterus also showed distinct patterns of TSPO expression. In summary, TSPO expression in both male and female reproductive tissues was not only restricted to steroidogenic cells. Expression in Sertoli cells, ovarian surface epithelium, efferent ductal epithelium, prostatic epithelium, seminal vesiclular epithelium, uterine epithelium and oviductal epithelium suggest either previously unknown sites for de novo steroidogenesis or functions for TSPO distinct from its well-studied role in steroid hormone production.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074509
PMCID: PMC3764105  PMID: 24040265
2.  NF-κB Mediates IL-1β– and IL-17A–Induced MUC5B Expression in Airway Epithelial Cells 
A major pathological feature of chronic airway diseases is the elevated expression of gel-forming mucins. NF-κB activation in airway epithelial cells has been shown to play a proinflammatory role in chronic airway diseases; however, the specific role of NF-κB in mucin gene expression has not been characterized. In this study, we show that the proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β and IL-17A, both of which use the NF-κB pathway, are potent inducers of MUC5B mRNA expression in both well differentiated primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells and the human bronchial epithelial cell line, HBE1. MUC5B induction by these cytokines was both time- and dose-dependent, and was attenuated by the small molecule inhibitor, NF-κB inhibitor III, as well as p65 small interfering RNA, suggesting that the regulation of MUC5B expression by these cytokines is via an NF-κB–based transcriptional mechanism. Deletion analysis of the MUC5B promoter demonstrated that IL-1β– and IL-17A–induced promoter activity resides within the −4.17-kb to −2.56-kb region relative to the transcriptional start site. This region contains three putative κB-binding sites (NF-κB-1, −3,786/−3,774; NF-κB-2, −3,173/−3,161; and NF-κB-3, −2,921/−2,909). Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis confirmed enhanced binding of the p50 NF-κB subunit to the NF-κB-3 site after cytokine stimulation. We conclude that an NF-κB-based transcriptional mechanism is involved in MUC5B regulation by IL-1β and IL-17A in airway epithelium. This is the first demonstration of the participation of NF-κB and its specific binding site in cytokine-mediated airway MUC5B expression.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2009-0313OC
PMCID: PMC3175554  PMID: 20935193
cytokines; gene regulation; mucin; transcription factors; lung

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