BECN1, corpus luteum function, and preterm labor.

TitleBECN1, corpus luteum function, and preterm labor.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Date Published2015

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is necessary to maintain pregnancy in mammals. We recently found that mice with a conditional deletion of Becn1/Beclin 1 specifically in the progesterone-synthesizing cells of the corpus luteum, had reduced progesterone synthesis and these mice failed to maintain pregnancy.(1) Furthermore, we identified that lipid storage and feedback through PRLR (prolactin receptor) and LHCGR (luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor) were negatively affected by Becn1 deletion. BECN1 is necessary for the interaction of the 2 catalytic subunits of the class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex, PIK3C3, and PIK3R4, which are responsible for the generation of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate that is required for nucleation of the phagophore. Work from Sun et al. and Itakura et al. demonstrated that this BECN1 complex is also necessary for the fusion of autophagosomes and endosomes with lysosomes. Therefore, we suspected that ablating Becn1 in luteal cells would inhibit macroautophagy, hereafter referred to as autophagy. In support, we provide evidence that autophagic flux is reduced in our model. Thus, this study provides evidence that Becn1 is necessary for steroid production in murine luteal cells.

Short TitleAutophagy
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