AKAP13 Enhances CREB1 Activation by FSH in Granulosa Cells

Kamaria C. Cayton Vaught, Dana Hazimeh, Ashlie Sewdass Carter, Kate Devine, Jacqueline Y. Maher, Marcy Maguire, Elizabeth A. McGee, Paul Driggers, James H. Segars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Granulosa cells (GCs) must respond appropriately to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) for proper follicle maturation. FSH activates protein kinase A (PKA) leading to phosphorylation of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein-1 (CREB1). We identified a unique A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP13) containing a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) region that was induced in GCs during folliculogenesis. AKAPs are known to coordinate signaling cascades, and we sought to evaluate the role of AKAP13 in GCs in response to FSH. Aromatase reporter activity was increased in COV434 human GCs overexpressing AKAP13. Addition of FSH, or the PKA activator forskolin, significantly enhanced this activity by 1.5- to 2.5-fold, respectively (p < 0.001). Treatment with the PKA inhibitor H89 significantly reduced AKAP13-dependent activation of an aromatase reporter (p = 0.0067). AKAP13 physically interacted with CREB1 in co-immunoprecipitation experiments and increased the phosphorylation of CREB1. CREB1 phosphorylation increased after FSH treatment in a time-specific manner, and this effect was reduced by siRNA directed against AKAP13 (p = 0.05). CREB1 activation increased by 18.5-fold with co-expression of AKAP13 in the presence of FSH (p < 0.001). Aromatase reporter activity was reduced by inhibitors of the RhoGEF region, C3 transferase and A13, and greatly enhanced by the RhoGEF activator, A02. In primary murine and COV43 GCs, siRNA knockdown of Akap13/AKAP13 decreased aromatase and luteinizing hormone receptor transcripts in cells treated with FSH, compared with controls. Collectively, these findings suggest that AKAP13 may function as a scaffolding protein in FSH signal transduction via an interaction with CREB, resulting in phosphorylation of CREB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReproductive Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • AKAP13
  • CREB
  • Follicular maturation
  • Folliculogenesis
  • FSH signaling
  • PKA signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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