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J C Pascall, M A Surani, S C Barton, T J Vaughan, and K D Brown


A transgenic mouse line (EGF/Tag) has been established in which expression of SV40 T-antigen is directed by a 5·5 kb fragment of the 5′-flanking region of the mouse epidermal growth factor (EGF) gene. Of the two principal sites of EGF expression in mice, submaxillary gland and kidney, T-antigen mRNA and protein were detected in the former but not in the latter tissue of the EGF/Tag animals. T-antigen expression in the submaxillary gland was restricted to the EGF-producing cells of the granular convoluted tubules, and the oncoprotein induced hyperplasia of these cells. T-antigen levels were markedly higher in the submaxillary glands of male compared with female transgenic mice, suggesting that expression of the transgene was androgen-regulated, like the endogenous EGF gene. These results indicate that the 5·5 kb fragment upstream of the mouse EGF gene contains the DNA enhancer elements required for hormonally regulated expression in the submaxillary gland. Since the hyperplastic submaxillary glands of the EGF/Tag mice continue to synthesize EGF, these glands provide a tissue source from which it may prove possible to establish EGF-secreting cell lines for further in vitro studies of the mechanisms regulating expression of the EGF gene.