Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) is a transcription factor expressed in the ventral medial nucleus of the hypothalamus that regulates energy homeostasis. However, the molecular mechanisms of SF-1 in the control of energy balance are largely unknown. Here, we show that nutritional conditions, such as the presence or absence of serum, affect SF-1 action. Serum starvation significantly decreased hypothalamic SF-1 levels by promoting ubiquitin-dependent degradation, and sumoylation was required for this process. SF-1 transcriptional activity was also differentially regulated by nutritional status. Under normal conditions, the transcriptional activity of hypothalamic SF-1 was activated by SUMO, but this was attenuated during starvation. Taken together, these results indicate that sumoylation and ubiquitination play crucial roles in the regulation of SF-1 function and that these effects are dependent on nutritional conditions, further supporting the importance of SF-1 in the control of energy homeostasis.
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