Background: Adrenogonadal cell growth and differentiation are controlled by nuclear receptor NR5A1 (Ad4BP/SF-1) that regulates the expression of adrenal and gonadal genes. In addition, SF-1 also resides in the centrosome and controls centrosome homeostasis by restricting the activity of centrosomal DNA-PK and CDK2/cyclin A. Results: Here we show that SF-1 depletion resulted in centriole splitting and amplification due to aberrant activation of DNA-PK in the centrosome of mouse adrenocortical Y1 cells. In the absence of SF-1, GSK3β was aberrantly phosphorylated during G1 phase and β-catenin was accumulated in the centrosome, but not in the nucleus. DNA-PK inhibitor vanillin reversed these phenomena. SF-1 overexpression led to inhibition of centrosomal DNA-PK activation caused by SF-1 depletion. Both full-length SF-1 and truncated SF-1 devoid of its DNA-binding domain rescued the multiple centrosome phenotype caused by SF-1 depletion, indicating that the effect of SF-1 in the centrosome is not contributed by its DNA-binding domain. Furthermore, SF-1 interacted with cyclin A in the centrosome, but not in the nucleus. Depletion of SF-1 also resulted in centriole splitting, genomic instability and reduced growth of mouse testicular Leydig MA10 cells. Conclusion: Centrosomal DNA-PK signaling triggers the accumulation of β-catenin, leading to centrosome over-duplication and centriole splitting. This cascade of centrosomal events results in genomic instability and reduced cell numbers.
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