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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jul 17;385(1):11-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.05.027. Epub 2009 May 12.

PROP1 coexists with SOX2 and induces PIT1-commitment cells.

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Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Agriculture, Meiji University, 1-1-1 Higashi-Mita, Tama-ku, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan.


Prophet of PIT1 (PROP1) is a pituitary-specific factor and responsive gene for the combined pituitary hormone deficiency in Ames dwarf mice and human patients. Our immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that PROP1 is consistently expressed in SOX2-expressing stem/progenitor cells in the rat pituitary from embryonic (E) to postnatal periods. At E13.5, all the cells in Rathke's pouch, the primordium of the pituitary, express PROP1. Afterward, PROP1-positive cells localize along the marginal cell layer, a putative stem cell niche in the pituitary, and stratify in the parenchyma of the anterior pituitary. In the embryonic period, PROP1 coexists transiently with PIT1, which is the anterior pituitary-specific factor and is a target of PROP1, but not any hormones. Thus, the present results imply a regulatory role of PROP1 not only in pituitary organogenesis but also in conversion of PIT1-lineage cells.

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