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Science. 1987 Nov 6;238(4828):797-9.

A nerve growth factor-induced gene encodes a possible transcriptional regulatory factor.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110.


Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a trophic agent that promotes the outgrowth of nerve fibers from sympathetic and sensory ganglia. The neuronal differentiation stimulated by this hormone was examined in the NGF-responsive cell line PC12. Differential hybridization was used to screen a complementary DNA library constructed from PC12 cells treated with NGF and cycloheximide. One of the complementary DNA clones that was rapidly induced by NGF was found to have a nucleotide sequence that predicts a 54-kilodalton protein with homology to transcriptional regulatory proteins. This clone, NGFI-A, contains three tandemly repeated copies of the 28- to 30-amino acid "zinc finger" domain present in Xenopus laevis TFIIIA and other DNA-binding proteins. It also contains another highly conserved unit of eight amino acids that is repeated at least 11 times. The NGFI-A gene is expressed at relatively high levels in the brain, lung, and superior cervical ganglion of the adult rat.

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