Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) is essential for endocrine development and function.
Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1), an orphan nuclear receptor, initially was isolated as a key regulator of the tissue-specific expression of the cytochrome P450 steroid hydroxylases. Thereafter, analyses of sites of SF-1 expression during mouse embryological development hinted at considerably expanded roles for SF-1, roles that were strikingly confirmed through the analyses of SF-1 knockout mice. These SF-1 knockout mice exhibited adrenal and gonadal agenesis, associated with male-to-female sex reversal of their internal and external genitalia and death from adrenocortical insufficiency. These findings showed unequivocally that SF-1 is essential for the embryonic survival of the primary steroidogenic organs. SF-1 knockout mice also had impaired pituitary expression of gonadotropins and agenesis of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH), establishing that SF-1 regulates reproductive function at all three levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis. This article reviews the experiments that have defined these essential roles of SF-1 in endocrine development and highlights important areas for future studies.
Luo, X; Ikeda, Y; Lala, D; Rice, D; Wong, M; Parker, KL
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