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STK3/4 Expression Is Regulated in Uterine Endometrial Cells during the Estrous Cycle

  • moon, sohyeon
  • lee, ok-hee
  • lee, sujin
  • lee, jihyun
  • park, haeun
  • park, miseon
  • chang, eun
  • park, keun-hong
  • choi, youngsok
Publication Date
Dec 15, 2019
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The uterus is dynamically regulated in response to various signaling triggered by hormones during the estrous cycle. The Hippo signaling pathway is known as an important signaling for regulating cellular processes during development by balancing between cell growth and apoptosis. Serine/threonine protein kinase 3/4 (STK3/4) is a key component of the Hippo signaling network. However, the regulation of STK3/4-Hippo signaling in the uterus is little known. In this study, we investigated the regulation and expression of STK3/4 in the uterine endometrium during the estrous cycle. STK3/4 expression was dynamically regulated in the uterus during the estrous cycle. STK3/4 protein expression was gradually increased from the diestrus stage and reached the highest in the estrus stage. STK3/4 was exclusively localized in the luminal and glandular epithelial cells of the uterus, and phosphorylated STK3/4 was also increased at the estrus stage. Moreover, the increase of STK3/4 expression in uteri was induced by administration of estradiol, but not by progesterone injection in ovariectomized mice. Pretreatment with an estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780 reduced estrogen-induced STK3/4 expression and its phosphorylation. The estrogen-induced STK3/4 expression was related to the increase in phosphorylation of downstream targets including LATS1/2 and YAP. These findings suggest that STK3/4-Hippo signaling acts a novel signaling pathway in the uterine epithelium and STK3/4-Hippo is one of key molecules for connecting between the estrogen downstream signaling pathway and the Hippo signaling pathway leading to regulate dynamic uterine epithelium during the estrous cycle.

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