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Mol Cell Biol. Sep 1989; 9(9): 3999–4008.
PMCID: PMC362462

Mutations in the hormone regulatory element of mouse mammary tumor virus differentially affect the response to progestins, androgens, and glucocorticoids.


Transcription of the mouse mammary tumor virus DNA is known to be induced by several steroid hormones. Using chimeric MMTV plasmids containing mutations within the hormone regulatory element, we have previously studied the regions required for the glucocorticoid response in mouse fibroblasts. Here we report the characterization of elements essential for the stimulation by progestins and androgens as compared with glucocorticoids. The same set of mutant plasmids was transfected into the human mammary tumor cell line T47D, and the specific transcripts were analyzed by an S1 nuclease protection assay. Androgen-mediated stimulation, although weak, showed an extended sensitivity to mutations, with a slight preference for the proximal region. The results with progestin suggest that sequences within all the described sites protected by the receptor in vitro are required and that the promoter-proximal region (-128 to -78 from the RNA start site) is more important than the distal one (-190 to -160). Moreover, a binding site for nuclear factor I was not required for the progestin response, whereas it was required for glucocorticoids. Thus, the various steroid receptors play a role in the differential regulation of mouse mammary tumor virus transcription by recognizing distinct sequence differences in the hormone regulatory element and interacting with different factors bound to the promoter.

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