Cells of the ovarian follicle undergo extensive proliferation and differentiation from the time that the follicle escapes from the primordial state to its acquisition of ovulatory capacity. We examined the dynamic modification of the phosphorylation state of the histone H3 N-terminal tail in granulosa cells during follicular development. In rodent follicles, the granulosa cell H3 phosphorylation on Ser10 peaks during proestrus. This epigenetic mark is induced by both FSH and 17β-estradiol (E2), acting independently. E2-induced H3 phosphorylation fails to occur in mice with inactivated α-isoform of the nuclear estrogen receptor. E2 induction of histone phosphorylation is attenuated by cell cycle inhibition. Further, E2 induces the activity of the mitotic kinase, Aurora B, in a mammary tumor cell model where mitosis is estrogen receptor-α dependent. These results provide evidence for mitotic regulation in follicle development by estrogen and demonstrate a previously undiscovered mechanism for induction of cell proliferation in ovarian and mammary gland cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology