Expression of a mitochondrial progesterone receptor (PR-M) in leiomyomata and association with increased mitochondrial membrane potential.
CONTEXT: Clinical evidence supports a role for progestins in the growth of leiomyomata (fibroids). The mechanism(s) for this is thought to involve gene regulation via the nuclear progesterone receptors. Recently a mitochondrial progesterone receptor (PR-M) has been identified with evidence of a progesterone/progestin-dependent increase in cellular respiration. This observation raises a possible new mechanism whereby progesterone/progestin may affect the growth of fibroids. OBJECTIVE: The goals of this research were to determine differential expression of PR-M in normal myometrium compared with the edge of a fibroid within the same uterus, to demonstrate a progestin-dependent increase in mitochondria membrane potential using an immortalized human myometrial cell line and to examine mitochondrial membrane potential in transfected cells expressing the complete coding sequence of PR-M. DESIGN: Protein levels of PR-M, PR-B, PR-A, mitochondrial porin, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were determined in the myometrium and adjacent edge of a fibroid in 10 subjects undergoing hysterectomy for benign indications. Mitochondrial membrane potential was determined by fluorescent emission of 5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolecarbocyanide iodine in hTERT-HM cells treated with R5020 and in transfected hTERT-HM cells determined by the fluorescent emission of tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester. RESULTS: Higher levels of PR-M and mitochondrial porin were found in the fibroid edge compared with adjacent myometrium. Progestin increased mitochondrial membrane potential in hTERT-HM cells, which was not affected by a translation inhibitor. This effect was exaggerated in hTERT-HM cells expressing PR-M after transient transfection. CONCLUSION: These studies suggest a mechanism whereby progesterone/progestin may affect the growth of fibroids by altering mitochondrial activity.
Feng, Q; Crochet, JR; Dai, Q; Leppert, PC; Price, TM
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