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Neurosci Lett. 2002 Jan 4;317(1):50-2.

Lithium induces gene expression through lymphoid enhancer-binding factor/T-cell factor responsive element in rat PC12 cells.

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Systems Research, GlaxoSmithKline Medicines Research Centre, Via A. Fleming 4, 37135 Verona, Italy.


Lithium inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), which leads to an increase of cytoplasmic beta-catenin levels. In some cell types, but not in others, activated beta-catenin interacts with members of the lymphoid enhancer-binding factor (LEF)/T-cell factor (TCF) family of transcription factors and induces gene expression. Lithium effect on LEF/TCF-mediated gene expression has never been evaluated in cells with a neuronal phenotype. We have constructed a LEF/TCF-dependent luciferase reporter gene to investigate lithium effects on transcription in PC12 cells. In transiently transfected PC12 cells, lithium induced a time-dependent increase in LEF/TCF-mediated luciferase activity. These results are consistent with the known inhibitory effects of lithium on GSK-3 and represent the first demonstration that a LEF/TCF responsive element also mediates lithium-induced gene expression in PC12 cells.

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