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Endocrinology. 2003 Apr;144(4):1292-300.

Cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate regulation of corticotropin-releasing hormone promoter activity in AtT-20 cells and in a transformed hypothalamic cell line.

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Section on Endocrine Physiology, Developmental Endocrinology Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The regulation of CRH promoter activity by cAMP was studied in two cell lines, the pituitary corticotroph cell line AtT-20 and the immortalized hypothalamic cell line 4B, which expresses CRH and vasopressin. In 4B cells transfected with a CRH promoter-luciferase construct, the adenylyl cyclase stimulator, forskolin, increased luciferase activity in parallel with increases in intracellular cAMP. In 4B cells, however, the phosphodiesterase inhibitor, isobutylmethylxanthine, potentiated forskolin-stimulated cAMP without affecting further increases in luciferase activity. In AtT-20 cells, forskolin plus isobutylmethylxanthine elevated cAMP only slightly, but increased luciferase activity to levels similar to those observed in 4B cells. AtT-20 cells were also unresponsive to 8-bromo-cAMP, due in part to higher phosphodiesterase (PDE) activities. Although both cells contained PDE1, -3, and -4, inhibition of either PDE4 or PDE1 potentiated luciferase activity stimulated by submaximal forskolin concentrations in 4B cells, while only simultaneous inhibition of PDE3 and PDE4 was effective in AtT-20 cells. The data show that minor elevations in intracellular cAMP are sufficient for full stimulation of CRH promoter activity regardless of the cell line. Furthermore, poor CRH promoter activation in AtT-20 cells appears to result from deficient cAMP production and rapid cAMP degradation by PDE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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