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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Dec 1;75(1):51-6.

SGK is a primary glucocorticoid-induced gene in the human.

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Department of Physiology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH 03756-0001, USA.


Serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase (sgk) is transcriptionally regulated by corticosteroids in several cell types. Recent findings suggest that sgk is an important gene in the early action of corticosteroids on epithelial sodium reabsorption. Surprisingly, the human sgk was reported not to be transcriptionally regulated by corticosteroids in a hepatoma cell line, and thus far no glucocorticoid response element has been identified in the human SGK gene. Since humans clearly respond to both aldosterone and glucocorticoids in cells where sgk action seems to be important, in this study we determined sgk mRNA levels following dexamethasone treatment for various duration in five human cell lines. These cell lines included epithelial cells (H441, T84 and HT29) and lymphoid/monocyte (U937 and THP-1) lines. Using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we found that sgk mRNA levels are markedly induced by glucocorticoids in all of the five cell lines studied. Time course analyses revealed that sgk mRNA levels are elevated as early as 30 min after addition of the glucocorticoid, and remain elevated for several hours. Northern analysis in H441 cells confirmed that sgk is an early induced gene. The induction of sgk by dexamethasone was unaffected by cycloheximide, indicating that it does not require de novo protein synthesis. These results indicate that the human sgk, just like its counterparts in other species, is a primary glucocorticoid-induced gene.

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