Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) initiates its effects by interacting with cell-surface membrane receptors. Two G protein-coupled receptors for TRH, TRH receptor type 1 (TRH-R1) and TRH receptor type 2 (TRH-R2), have been cloned from mammals. In this review, we compare TRH-R1 and TRH-R2 with regard to their tIssue distribution, binding affinities for TRH and TRH analogs, basal and activated signaling activities and characteristics of internalization. TRH-R1 and TRH-R2 are distributed differently in the brain and peripheral tIssues, but exhibit indistinguishable binding affinities for TRH and TRH analogs. Although they both can be stimulated by TRH to similar maximal signaling levels, TRH-R2 exhibits higher basal signaling activity and is more rapidly internalized than TRH-R1. These differences in signaling and internalization properties are probably important in the distinct parts that TRH-R1 and TRH-R2 may play in mammalian physiology.
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Y Sun, X Lu, and MC Gershengorn
L J Murphy, P Molnar, X Lu, and H Huang
Transgenic mice which expressed human IGF-binding protein-3 (hIGFBP-3) were generated by pronuclear injection of an hIGFBP-3 cDNA driven by the mouse metallothionein 1 promoter. Two of the seven founder mice had measurable levels of hIGFBP-3 in the circulation. The serum levels of hIGFBP-3 increased as the mice were bred to homozygosity and were further induced by supplementing the drinking water with 25 mm ZnCl2. While the birth weight, litter size and body weight of transgenic mice were not significantly different from non-transgenic litter mates or wild-type mice derived from the same genetic background, the transgenic mice demonstrated selective organomegaly. The spleen, liver and heart of mice derived from both founders were significantly heavier compared with organs from non-transgenic mice (P<0·05, P<0·005 and P<0·01 respectively). The weights of the brain and kidney were similar in transgenic and non-transgenic mice. Expression of the transgene was detected in the kidney, small intestine and colon by Northern blot analysis.
Western ligand blotting of serum from transgenic mice did not demonstrate any change in the abundance of the IGFBPs detected by this method. When serum from transgenic mice was incubated with 125I-labeled IGF-I and analyzed by Sephacryl S-200 chromatography under neutral conditions a significantly (P<0·05) increased amount of the radioactivity was found in the 140 kDa ternary complex compared with serum from wild-type mice. Immunoreactive hIGFBP-3 was detected in the 140 kDa ternary complex but the majority of immunoreactive hIGFBP-3 present in transgenic mouse serum eluted in later fractions indicating that it was not associated with the acid-labile subunit. These data demonstrate that modest constitutive expression of hIGFBP-3 has a selective effect on organ growth and development. The establishment of these IGFBP-3 transgenic mouse strains may provide useful models to investigate further the physiological role of IGFBP-3.
S G Matthews, X Han, F Lu, and J R G Challis
Ontogenic changes in pituitary pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA and prolactin (PRL) mRNA were examined during gestation and early neonatal life using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Pituitaries were harvested from fetuses at days 60–80, 100–120, 135–140 and 142–143 of gestation and at term, and from lambs at days 1–7 and 30–60 of age and adults.
POMC mRNA, present by day 60, rose during mid- and late gestation. Concurrently there was a change in corticotroph distribution, resulting in a relatively greater quantity of POMC mRNA at the base of the pars distalis. At term, there was a significant (P<0·05) further elevation of POMC mRNA. POMC mRNA levels remained high in the newborn lamb but decreased in the adult. Cells in the pars intermedia expressed large amounts of POMC mRNA early in fetal life and this pattern persisted throughout gestation and into the neonatal period. Changes in the expression of the POMC gene correlated closely with the presence of immunoreactive (ir)ACTH in the pituitary; in fetuses the proportion of irACTH-positive cells rose to 10% of pars distalis cells by day 100 and did not change significantly thereafter. The lactotrophs contained PRL mRNA by day 60, and the quantity increased towards parturition (P<0·05). PRL mRNA subsequently decreased in the neonate, but rose as the lamb matured.
These results indicate that in the fetal pituitary: (1) the POMC gene is highly expressed during gestation in both the pars distalis and the pars intermedia, (2) changes in the amounts of POMC mRNA and PRL mRNA in the pars distalis correlate with the distribution of irACTH and irPRL respectively, and (3) POMC mRNA is distributed primarily in the inferior aspect of the pars distalis, and in this region its quantity is highest immediately prior to parturition.
Y-L Zhao, W-D Han, Q Li, Y-M Mu, X-C Lu, L Yu, H-J Song, X Li, J-M Lu, and C-Y Pan
LRP16 gene expression is induced by 17-βestradiol (E2) via estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. A previous study also demonstrated that ectopic expression of LRP16 gene promoted MCF-7 cell proliferation. To explore the mechanism of hormone-induced LRP16 gene expression, the LRP16 gene promoter region (−2600 to −24 bp upstream of the LRP16 gene translation starting site) was analyzed in the present study by using different 5′-truncated constructs, and a luciferase reporter. The 5′-flanking sequence of −676 to −24 bp (pGL3-S5) was found to be E2-responsive. After exchange of the fragment from −213 to −24 bp with the TK gene proximal promoter region in pGL3-S5, E2 still induced reporter gene activity in MCF-7 and HeLa cells. Sequence analysis showed that the pGL3-S6 (−676 to −214) sequence contains two motifs that may contribute to E2-induced transactivation; namely, an estrogen-responsive element (ERE) half-site/Sp1 at −246 to −227 bp and an E-box site at −225 to −219 bp. Further deletion and mutation analysis of these two motifs indicated that both the 1/2 ERE and Sp1 binding sites were required for E2 action, while E-box deletion did not affect the luciferase activity in MCF-7 and HeLa cells. The results of gel mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that both ERαand Sp1 were required for hormone-induced transactivation, which involved both ERαand Sp1 directly binding to DNA. Taken together, these findings suggest that ERαand Sp1 play a role in activation of the human LRP16 gene promoter.