Glucocorticoids and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) suppress pituitary pro-opiomelanocortin (Pomc) gene expression. O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification, mediated by O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), plays an important role during gene transcription. However, whether OGT is involved in the GR-mediated transrepression that occurs in pituitary corticotroph cells is currently unknown. Here, we report that OGT regulates Pomc expression in the mouse corticotroph cell line AtT-20. The overexpression of OGT has an additive effect on the GR-mediated negative transcription pathway. Both the knockdown of OGT by RNA interference and the use of a chemical OGT inhibitor abolished the repressive effects of Pomc expression induced by GRs. OGT inhibition leads to both the decreased recruitment of GRs and the increased recruitment of RNA polymerase II to the Pomc locus. O-GlcNAc modification is involved in the negative regulation of Pomc transcription in corticotroph cells. OGT may be a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of Cushing's disease.
- Cushing's disease
- O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine transferase