Coordination of Multiple Cellular Processes by NR5A1/Nr5a1

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2020 Dec;35(4):756-764. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2020.402. Epub 2020 Dec 23.


The agenesis of the gonads and adrenal gland in revealed by knockout mouse studies strongly suggested a crucial role for Nr5a1 (SF-1 or Ad4BP) in organ development. In relation to these striking phenotypes, NR5A1/Nr5a1 has the potential to reprogram cells to steroidogenic cells, endow pluripotency, and regulate cell proliferation. However, due to limited knowledge regarding NR5A1 target genes, the mechanism by which NR5A1/Nr5a1 regulates these fundamental processes has remained unknown. Recently, newlyestablished technologies have enabled the identification of NR5A1 target genes related to multiple metabolic processes, as well as the aforementioned biological processes. Considering that active cellular processes are expected to be accompanied by active metabolism, NR5A1 may act as a key factor for processes such as cell differentiation, proliferation, and survival by coordinating these processes with cellular metabolism. A complete and definite picture of the cellular processes coordinated by NR5A1/Nr5a1 could be depicted by accumulating evidence of the potential target genes through whole genome studies.

Keywords: Ad4BP; Adrenal glands; Cell differentiation; Cell proliferation; Glycolysis; Gonads; Knockout; NR5A1; Steroidogenic factor 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biological Phenomena
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Glycolysis / physiology*
  • Gonads / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phenotype
  • Steroidogenic Factor 1 / genetics
  • Steroidogenic Factor 1 / metabolism*


  • NR5A1 protein, human
  • Steroidogenic Factor 1
  • steroidogenic factor 1, mouse