Endocrinology Journal Article

Salt-inducible Kinases and Female Fertility

July 20, 2020
 

Marah Armouti, Nicola Winston, Osamu Hatano, Elie Hobeika, Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, Juergen Liebermann, Hiroshi Takemori, Carlos Stocco
Endocrinology, Volume 161, Issue 7, July 2020, bqaa069
https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa069

Abstract

Follicle development is the most crucial step toward female fertility and is controlled mainly by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). In ovarian granulosa cells (GCs), FSH activates protein kinase A by increasing 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine 5′-monophosphate (cAMP). Since cAMP signaling is impinged in part by salt-inducible kinases (SIKs), we examined the role of SIKs on the regulation of FSH actions. Here, we report that SIKs are essential for normal ovarian function and female fertility. All SIK isoforms are expressed in human and rodent GCs at different levels (SIK3>SIK2>SIK1). Pharmacological inhibition of SIK activity potentiated the stimulatory effect of FSH on markers of GC differentiation in mouse, rat, and human GCs and estradiol production in rat GCs. In humans, SIK inhibition strongly enhanced FSH actions in GCs of patients with normal or abnormal ovarian function. The knockdown of SIK2, but not SIK1 or SIK3, synergized with FSH on the induction of markers of GC differentiation. SIK inhibition boosted gonadotropin-induced GC differentiation in vivo, while the genomic knockout of SIK2 led to a significant increase in the number of ovulated oocytes. Conversely, SIK3 knockout females were infertile, FSH insensitive, and had abnormal folliculogenesis. These findings reveal novel roles for SIKs in the regulation of GC differentiation and female fertility, and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms regulated by FSH. Furthermore, these data suggest that specific pharmacological modulation of SIK2 activity could be of benefit to treat ovulatory defects in humans and to increase the propagation of endangered species and farm mammals.

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