The crystal structures of human steroidogenic factor-1 and liver receptor homologue-1.

Article Details


Wang W, Zhang C, Marimuthu A, Krupka HI, Tabrizizad M, Shelloe R, Mehra U, Eng K, Nguyen H, Settachatgul C, Powell B, Milburn MV, West BL

The crystal structures of human steroidogenic factor-1 and liver receptor homologue-1.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 May 24;102(21):7505-10. Epub 2005 May 16.

PubMed ID
15897460 [ View in PubMed

Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) and liver receptor homologue-1 (LRH-1) belong to the fushi tarazu factor 1 subfamily of nuclear receptors. SF-1 is an essential factor for sex determination during development and regulates adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis in the adult, whereas LRH-1 is a critical factor for development of endodermal tissues and regulates cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis. Regulatory ligands are unknown for SF-1 and LRH-1. A reported mouse LRH-1 structure revealed an empty pocket in a region commonly occupied by ligands in the structures of other nuclear receptors, and pocket-filling mutations did not alter the constitutive activity observed. Here we report the crystal structures of the putative ligand-binding domains of human SF-1 at 2.1-A resolution and human LRH-1 at 2.5-A resolution. Both structures bind a coactivator-derived peptide at the canonical activation-function surface, thus adopting the transcriptionally activating conformation. In human LRH-1, coactivator peptide binding also occurs to a second site. We discovered in both structures a phospholipid molecule bound in a pocket of the putative ligand-binding domain. MS analysis of the protein samples used for crystallization indicated that the two proteins associate with a range of phospholipids. Mutations of the pocket-lining residues reduced the transcriptional activities of SF-1 and LRH-1 in mammalian cell transfection assays without affecting their expression levels. These results suggest that human SF-1 and LRH-1 may be ligand-binding receptors, although it remains to be seen if phospholipids or possibly other molecules regulate SF-1 or LRH-1 under physiological conditions.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Steroidogenic factor 1Q13285Details