Cyclin D1 regulates hepatic estrogen and androgen metabolism

Lisa K. Mullany, Eric A. Hanse, Andrea Romano, Charles H. Blomquist, J. Ian Mason, Bert Delvoux, Chelsea Anttila, Jeffrey H. Albrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cyclin D1 is a cell cycle control protein that plays an important role in regenerating liver and many types of cancer. Previous reports have shown that cyclin D1 can directly enhance estrogen receptor activity and inhibit androgen receptor activity in a ligand-independent manner and thus may play an important role in hormone-responsive malignancies. In this study, we examine a distinct mechanism by which cyclin D1 regulates sex steroid signaling, via altered metabolism of these hormones at the tissue and cellular level. In male mouse liver, ectopic expression of cyclin D1 regulated genes involved in the synthesis and degradation of sex steroid hormones in a pattern that would predict increased estrogen and decreased androgen levels. Indeed, hepatic expression of cyclin D1 led to increased serum estradiol levels, increased estrogen-responsive gene expression, and decreased androgen-responsive gene expression. Cyclin D1 also regulated the activity of several key enzymatic reactions in the liver, including increased oxidation of testosterone to androstenedione and decreased conversion of estradiol to estrone. Similar findings were seen in the setting of physiological cyclin D1 expression in regenerating liver. Knockdown of cyclin D1 in HuH7 cells produced reciprocal changes in steroid metabolism genes compared with cyclin D1 overexpression in mouse liver. In conclusion, these studies establish a novel link between the cell cycle machinery and sex steroid metabolism and provide a distinct mechanism by which cyclin D1 may regulate hormone signaling. Furthermore, these results suggest that increased cyclin D1 expression, which occurs in liver regeneration and liver diseases, may contribute to the feminization seen in these settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G884-G895
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase
  • 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase
  • Cyclin D1b
  • Liver regeneration
  • Reductase
  • Steroid 5-α


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