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N Boulle, H Schneid, A Listrat, P Holthuizen, M Binoux, and A Groyer

ABSTRACT

Initial observations have indicated similarities between bovine and human IGF-II production during development. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether cattle could provide an experimental model that would mimic the complex pattern of human IGF-II gene expression. Expression of bovine IGF-II gene during development was studied by RNA hybridization using various human IGF-II probes. In fetal tissues and in adult muscle, the bovine IGF-II gene was expressed as a family of eight transcripts ranging in size from 5·2 to 1·1 kb. In adult bovine liver, a major IGF-II transcript of 4·4 kb was expressed that could not be detected in any fetal or adult extra-hepatic tissue. During fetal life, quantitative IGF-II mRNA expression differed in liver and muscle, and the relative amounts of the different transcripts varied with the tissue of origin. These observations suggest that the regulation of bovine IGF-II gene expression is specific to the stage of development and the tissue concerned. Moreover its pattern is very similar to that in its human counterpart.

In order to identify a putative homology between human and bovine gene structures, bovine mRNAs were examined for cross-hybridization with various non-coding exons of the human gene. Cross-hybridization was detected with human untranslated exons 5 and 6, suggesting the presence of two distinct promoters similar to the human promoters P3 and P4. The 4·4 kb mRNA species expressed in adult bovine liver failed to hybridize to a probe for human exons 1 and 2, suggesting that the leader sequences of this transcript were different from those present in the human gene. Finally, results obtained with a probe containing the 3′ untranslated end of exon 9 suggested the presence of at least two polyadenylation sites in the bovine gene.

Although differences in IGF-II gene structures were found between cattle and man, the similarities in the pattern of gene expression between the two species suggest that cattle may be a useful model to investigate some developmental aspects of the expression of the human IGF-II gene.

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PR Manna, DW Eubank, E Lalli, P Sassone-Corsi, and DM Stocco

Transcriptional induction by cAMP is mediated through the interaction of the cAMP response-element binding protein (CREB) with a cAMP response element (CRE) in the promoter of target genes. The steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein gene is regulated by cAMP-mediated signaling in steroidogenic cells even though its promoter lacks a consensus CRE. Previously, we have identified three highly conserved 5'-CRE half-sites within the -96/-67 bp region of the mouse StAR gene, and a member of the CREB family (CREB/CRE modulator (CREM)) was shown to be involved in its expression and regulation. Here we show that CREB and CREMtau (but not CREMalpha and CREMbeta) have qualitatively similar effects on StAR promoter activity in response to (Bu)(2)cAMP. Studies on the effects of the functional integrity of the CRE half-sites on CREB-dependent (Bu)(2)cAMP-mediated StAR gene transcription demonstrated the greater importance of the CRE2 site in comparison with the CRE1 and CRE3 sites. The CRE2 sequence was also found to bind specifically to recombinant CREB protein and nuclear extract from MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells. The cAMP and CREB/CREM responsive region (-151/-1 bp) of the mouse StAR promoter also contains three recognition motifs for steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1). Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and reporter gene analyses demonstrated the involvement of different SF-1 elements in StAR gene expression with the order of importance being SF-1/3>SF-1/1>SF-1/2. Specific mutations that eliminated the binding sites of CRE and SF-1 elements, either alone or in combination, resulted in an attenuation of StAR promoter activity, indicating that CREB and SF-1 can regulate StAR gene transcription in a cooperative fashion. In addition, mammalian two-hybrid assays revealed a high affinity protein-protein interaction between CREB/CREMtau and SF-1 which appeared to be dependent upon CREB protein phosphorylation. These findings further demonstrate CREB's role in StAR gene transcription and also provide evidence that the combined action of CREB/CREMtau and SF-1 results in enhanced activation of the StAR promoter.

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R Eshet, H Werner, B Klinger, A Silbergeld, Z Laron, D LeRoith, and C T Roberts Jr

ABSTRACT

We have analysed the expression of the IGF-I receptor gene in lymphocytes of patients with low levels of circulating IGF-I (four patients with isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) and one Laron-type dwarf (LTD)) in comparison with a control group exhibiting normal serum IGF-I levels and endocrine profiles. 125I-Labelled IGF-I binding assays were performed on erythrocytes to determine the number of IGF-I binding sites per cell and their dissociation constants. Erythrocytes from patients with IGHD or LTD contained significantly (P=0·002) more receptors per cell (10·9±3·1 binding sites/cell), with a reduced affinity (K d = 0·49±0·05 nm), than erythrocytes from controls (2·0±0·4 sites/cell; K d = 0·14 nm). The levels of IGF-I receptor mRNA in circulating lymphocytes were determined by an RNA template-specific reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction method. There was a statistically significant increase in IGF-I receptor mRNA levels in lymphocytes from patients with LTD or IGHD when compared with controls (3108·1±775·9 vs 576·0±465·7 arbitrary units, P=0·006). The increased level of IGF-I binding due to increased IGF-I receptor gene expression may represent a compensatory up-regulation process activated in response to the low levels of IGF-I in the circulation of patients with LTD or IGHD.

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SM Woodall, NS Bassett, PD Gluckman, and BH Breier

The mechanisms that contribute to postnatal growth failure following intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are poorly understood. We demonstrated previously that nutritional deprivation in the pregnant rat leads to IUGR in offspring, postnatal growth failure and to changes in endocrine parameters of the somatotrophic axis. The present study examines the effects of maternal undernutrition (30% of the ad libitum available diet; IUGR group) throughout pregnancy on hepatic insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), growth hormone receptor (GHR) and GH-binding protein (GHBP) gene expression using solution hybridisation/RNase protection assays (RPAs). Animals were killed at fetal (E22, term=23 days) and postnatal (birth, days 5, 9, 15, 21) ages, livers were collected and RNA extracted for RPAs. Results demonstrate the presence of all IGF-I mRNAs resulting from transcription start sites (ss) in exon 1 (ss1/2, ss3, ss2 spliced), exon 2, the two IGF-I E-domain variants (Ea and Eb) as well as GHR and GHBP mRNAs in hepatic tissue at E22 in both the ad libitum fed and IUGR offspring. In the postnatal liver, IGF-I ss1/2, ss3, ss2 spliced, Ea and Eb IGF-I variants as well as GHR and GHBP mRNA transcripts increased in abundance from birth to day 21. IGF-I exon 2 transcripts were relatively constant from E22 until postnatal day 15, then increased at postnatal day 21 in both the ad libitum fed and IUGR offspring. The expressions of all hepatic IGF-I leader exon ss and Ea domain variants were significantly reduced in IUGR offspring (P<0.05) from E22 to postnatal day 9. In contrast, relative abundance of hepatic IGF-I Eb variants, GHR and GHBP mRNAs were unaltered in IUGR offspring compared with the ad libitum fed animals. Whether these postnatal effects of undernutrition are a direct consequence of IUGR or whether they are related, in part, to differences in postnatal food intake remains to be investigated. In summary, we have demonstrated that hepatic IGF-I ss within exon 1 and exon 2 are coordinately regulated. Use of exon 1 ss increased during normal development and decreased with IUGR without changes in GHR or GHBP gene expression. Eb transcripts, thought to represent GH-dependent endocrine regulation of IGF-I, were unchanged in IUGR. These results suggest a possible postreceptor defect in GH action as a consequence of IUGR.

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Anne-Marie O’Carroll, Stephen J Lolait, and Gillian M Howell

tract and the dorsal raphe nucleus – also express APJR mRNA ( De Mota et al. 2000 ). The molecular basis for the regulation of APJR gene transcription is not known. There is evidence however, to indicate that the steady-state levels of the gene

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Xiaodong Li, Stephanie L Nott, Yanfang Huang, Russell Hilf, Robert A Bambara, Xing Qiu, Andrei Yakovlev, Stephen Welle, and Mesut Muyan

selective regulation of the ERE-independent genes would allow us to begin to address this issue. To accomplish this, we generated an ERE-binding defective ERβ mutant (ERβ EBD ) which renders the receptor nonfunctional at the ERE-dependent pathway, while

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Hong Zhou, Yonghua Jiang, Wendy K W Ko, Wensheng Li, and Anderson O L Wong

even in the presence of GH-releasing factors. Molecular mechanisms for LH regulation of GH gene expression ‘Steady-state’ GH mRNA, a dynamic balance between GH mRNA production and degradation, was assayed in the

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C Vyhlidal, X Li, and S Safe

Transferrin (Tf) is an iron transport protein expressed in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. In nuclear run-on assays, 17beta-estradiol (E2) increased the rate of Tf gene expression approximately 3-fold within 1 h after treatment and reporter gene activity was also induced in MCF-7 cells transfected with a construct containing a -3600 to +39 Tf gene promoter insert. Deletion and mutation analysis identified an E2-responsive promoter region between -811 and -762, which was GC-rich (80%) and contained two nonconsensus estrogen response elements (EREs). E2-responsiveness of this region was associated with a GGACA(N)(3)TGGCC motif (-803 to -791) which bound human estrogen receptor alpha (hERalpha) in gel mobility shift assays. In Drosophila Schneider SL-2 cells, the -811 to -752 was E2-responsive after cotransfection with hERalpha expression plasmid plus E2, whereas Sp1 protein did not induce transactivation. These studies confirm that E2 induces Tf gene expression through a nonconsensus distal ERE.

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S Park, W Lee, KH You, H Kim, JM Suh, HK Chung, M Shong, and OY Kwon

This study was performed to evaluate the effects of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) on phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase type IIgamma (PIPKIIgamma) gene expression in the thyrocytes of FRTL-5 cells. Although PIPKIIgamma mRNA was expressed constantly in the absence of added TSH, its expression increased remarkably in the presence of 10(-9) M TSH. This increase started within 6 h of the addition of TSH, and reached a maximum at 8 h. The mRNA expression properties of PIPKIIgamma in the cells were identified using inhibitors. Actinomycin D blocked PIPKIIgamma transcription strongly, while cycloheximide did not. In an experiment using 5,6-dichlo-1-beta-d -ribofuranosylbenzimidaxole, the half-life of PIPKIIgamma mRNA was approximately 6 h in the presence or absence of TSH, and it was not affected by the stability of the PIPKIIgamma mRNA. The effects of TSH on PIPKIIgamma gene expression were specific, and other growth factors examined (transferrin, insulin and hydrocortisone) did not alter its expression. It is possible that the mechanism of PIPKIIgamma gene expression is involved in the permissive effect of the TSH-cAMP cascade proper. Our results indicate, for the first time, that the expression of PIPKIIgamma is regulated transcriptionally by TSH in thyrocytes.

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A Dassouli, Ch Darne, S Fabre, M Manin, G Veyssière, and Cl Jean

ABSTRACT

The understanding of androgen-regulated gene expression requires a cell culture system that mimics the functions of cells in vivo. In the present paper we have examined a vas deferens epithelial cell subculture system. Cultured vas deferens epithelial cells have been shown to exhibit polarized properties characteristic of functioning epithelia and to display a high level of androgen receptors. Incubation of cells with androgen caused a decrease in cellular androgen receptor mRNA that was time-dependent. Total suppression was observed after 24 h of exposure to androgen. By contrast, incubation of vas deferens epithelial cells with androgen resulted in a threefold increase in the cellular content of androgen receptor protein, as assayed by ligand binding. In response to androgens, vas deferens epithelial cells expressed mouse vas deferens protein mRNA (MVDP mRNA). Maximum expression of the MVDP gene, at both mRNA and protein levels, was observed after 24 h of androgen induction.

DEAE-dextran transfection conditions were defined using the MMTV-CAT vector. Dihydrotestosterone stimulated the transcription activation of MMTV-CAT gene in vas deferens epithelial cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. No induction was seen when fragments of the MVDP promoter region were cloned directly in front of the CAT gene and transiently transfected into vas deferens epithelial cells. It was found that cotransfection of cells with MVDP-CAT constructs and with an androgen receptor expression vector resulted in a small but consistent androgen-dependent increase in reporter gene activity. Transiently transfected vas deferens epithelial cells are a suitable model with which to study the effect of androgen on gene regulatory elements.