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T Monden, M Yamada, S Konaka, T Satoh, H Ezawa, T Iwasaki, and M Mori


To gain insight into the mechanism underlying the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced changes in responsiveness to TRH and in the numbers of TRH receptors (TRH-Rs) in the pituitary, we investigated the transcriptional regulation by EGF of the TRH-R gene in GH4C1 cells. Northern blot analyses and binding studies revealed that EGF reduced both TRH binding and TRH-R mRNA levels in a dose- and time-dependent manner, while no significant changes were observed in β-actin mRNA levels. Addition of actinomycin D caused an acute increase in the basal TRH-R mRNA level, and the rate of decrease of the TRH-R mRNA was identical in control and EGF-treated groups, suggesting that the stability of the TRH-R mRNA was not significantly affected in EGF-treated cells. Incubation with cycloheximide also induced an increase in the basal TRH-R mRNA level and completely reversed the EGF-induced reduction of TRH-R mRNA levels. Furthermore, a nuclear run-on assay demonstrated that the rate of transcription of the TRH-R gene was significantly inhibited in cells treated with EGF. We conclude that (1) EGF decreases the expression of the TRH-R mRNA largely by reducing its rate of transcription, and this action requires the synthesis of new proteins, and (2) inhibitors of protein and RNA synthesis cause a significant increase in the basal TRH-R mRNA level, suggesting that there may be a short-lived protein suppressing the TRH-R mRNA level in the pituitary.

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M Morishita, Y Iwasaki, A Onishi, M Asai, N Mutsuga, M Yoshida, Y Oiso, K Inoue, and T Murohara

The two hypothalamic hormones, GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (SRIF), are known to regulate GH secretion. However, the effects of these hormones on GH gene expression are not completely clear, partly because of the lack of appropriate host cells maintaining the original characteristics of the somatotroph. Since MtT/S, a pure somatotroph cell line, has become available, the effects of GHRH and SRIF on GH gene transcription have been studied using a subclone of MtT/S (MtT/SGL), in which the GH gene 5'-promoter-luciferase fusion gene was stably incorporated. The expression of GHRH receptor and SRIF receptor subtypes was also studied by RT-PCR. The results showed that MtT/SGL cells intrinsically expressed the functional GHRH receptor and all of the SRIF receptor subtypes. The expression of GHRH receptor was markedly enhanced by glucocorticoid pretreatment and, in the presence of corticosterone and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, GHRH (at or above 100 pM) stimulated GH gene 5'-promoter activity in a dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, SRIF (100 nM) significantly antagonized the effect of GHRH, which was completely reversed by pretreatment with pertussis toxin (50 ng/ml). Taken together, the present data indicated that both GHRH and SRIF are involved in the transcriptional regulation of the GH gene, and that the effect of SRIF is mediated through pertussis toxin-sensitive G protein. The MtT/SGL cell line is a good in vitro model for studying the molecular mechanisms of GH gene transcription by GHRH and/or SRIF.