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Liliana del V Sosa, Juan P Petiti, Florencia Picech, Sabrina Chumpen, Juan P Nicola, Pablo Perez, Ana De Paul, Javier Valdez-Taubas, Silvina Gutierrez and Alicia I Torres

The molecular mechanisms underlying the ERα nuclear/cytoplasmic pool that modulates pituitary cell proliferation have been widely described, but it is still not clear how ERα is targeted to the plasma membrane. The aim of this study was to analyse ERα palmitoylation and the plasma membrane ERα (mERα) pool, and their participation in E2-triggered membrane-initiated signalling in normal and pituitary tumour cell growth. Cell cultures were prepared from anterior pituitaries of female Wistar rats and tumour GH3 cells, and treated with 10 nM of oestradiol (E2). The basal expression of ERα was higher in tumour GH3 than in normal pituitary cells. Full-length palmitoylated ERα was observed in normal and pituitary tumour cells, demonstrating that E2 stimulation increased both, ERα in plasma membrane and ERα and caveolin-1 interaction after short-term treatment. In addition, the Dhhc7 and Dhhc21 palmitoylases were negatively regulated after sustained stimulation of E2 for 3 h. Although the uptake of BrdU into the nucleus in normal pituitary cells was not modified by E2, a significant increase in the GH3 tumoural cell, as well as ERK1/2 activation, with this effect being mimicked by PPT, a selective antagonist of ERα. These proliferative effects were blocked by ICI 182780 and the global inhibitor of palmitoylation. These findings indicate that ERα palmitoylation modulated the mERα pool and consequently the ERK1/2 pathway, thereby contributing to pituitary tumour cell proliferation. These results suggest that the plasma membrane ERα pool might be related to the proliferative behaviour of prolactinoma and may be a marker of pituitary tumour growth.

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Laura Fozzatti, María L Vélez, Ariel M Lucero, Juan P Nicola, Iván D Mascanfroni, Daniela R Macció, Claudia G Pellizas, Germán A Roth and Ana M Masini-Repiso

Nitric oxide (NO) is a free radical that mediates a wide array of cell functions. It is generated from l-arginine by NO-synthase (NOS). Expression of NOS isoforms has been demonstrated in thyroid cells. Previous reports indicated that NO donors induce dedifferentiation in thyrocytes. However, the functional significance of endogenous thyrocyte-produced NO has not been explored. This work aimed to study the influence of endogenous NO on parameters of thyroid cell function and differentiation in FRTL-5 cells. We observed that treatment with the NOS inhibitor, Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME), increased the TSH-stimulated iodide uptake. The TSH-induced sodium iodide symporter (NIS) and thyroglobulin (TG) mRNA expressions were increased after incubation with l-NAME. In transient transfection assays, TSH-stimulated transcriptional activities of NIS and TG promoters were increased by l-NAME. An increment of the TSH-stimulated cell proliferation was observed after NOS inhibition. Similar results were obtained when the action of another NOS inhibitor, N g-monomethyl-l-arginine, was analysed for most of these studies. The production of NO, which was not detectable in basal conditions, was increased by TSH. Our data provide strong evidence that endogenous NO could act as a negative signal for TSH-stimulated iodide uptake and thyroid-specific gene expression as well as proliferation in thyrocytes. These findings reveal a possible new inhibitory pathway in the regulation of thyroid cell function.