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Paper Chase

Regulation of the gastrin promoter by epidermal growth factor and neuropeptides.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 5 1, 1989;86(9):3036-40.
Godley JM, Brand SJ.

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


The regulation of gastrin gene transcription was studied in GH4 pituitary cells transfected with constructs comprised of the first exon of the human gastrin gene and various lengths of 5' regulatory sequences ligated upstream of the reporter gene chloramphenicol acetyltransferase. Gastrin reporter gene activity in GH4 cells was equal to the activity of a reporter gene transcribed from the endogenously expressed growth hormone promoter. The effect of a variety of peptides on gastrin gene transcription including epidermal growth factor (normally present in the gastric lumen), gastrin-releasing peptide, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and somatostatin (present in gastric nerves) was assessed. Epidermal growth factor increased the rate of gastrin transcription almost 3-fold, whereas thyrotropin-releasing hormone and vasoactive intestinal peptide increased gastrin transcription 2- and 1.5-fold, respectively. Gastrin-releasing peptide, a peptide that strongly stimulates gastrin release, weakly increased gastrin transcription (1.3-fold). Somatostatin inhibited the increase in gastrin transcription induced by epidermal growth factor, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and vasoactive intestinal peptide. Constructs containing various lengths of 5' regulatory sequences defined a response element -40 to -82 base pairs (bp) 5' to the transcription initiation site. This 40-bp sequence contains Sp1 and AP2 binding sites, which suggests that epidermal growth factor and thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulate gastrin gene transcription through transcription factors that bind to Sp1 and/or AP2 motifs.