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Mol Endocrinol. 1990 Aug;4(8):1226-34.

An interaction between the 5' flanking distal and proximal regulatory domains of the rat prolactin gene is required for transcriptional activation by estrogens.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235.


In vitro studies have demonstrated that the estrogen receptor (ER) can bind to the rat PRL estrogen response element (ERE) located 1700 basepairs upstream of the transcriptional start site. However, the mechanism by which the receptor-DNA complex influences the activity of RNA polymerase located in the promoter region is not understood. To begin investigating this process, we developed cell lines derived from GH3 cells that contain steroid-responsive bovine papillomavirus minichromosomes. Within these minichromosomes is a hybrid gene composed of the 5' flanking region of the PRL gene, driving the expression of the Tn5 gene. The episomal PRL DNA sequences responded to 17 beta-estradiol (E2) by increasing the rate of Tn5 gene transcription. Nucleosome mapping experiments using micrococcal nuclease demonstrated that nucleosome-like structures were assembled on the minichromosome in an ordered array separated by 150-200 basepairs of DNA. Novel S1 nuclease as well as DNase-I-hypersensitive sites in the chromatin of the promoter and distal regulatory regions of the episomal PRL gene were detected by indirect end-labeling studies. The nuclease hypersensitive sites in the distal region containing the ERE were modified after treatment of the cells with either E2 or the antiestrogen 4-hydroxytamoxifen. However, only E2 treatment of cells resulted in an increase in the nuclease hypersensitivity of the promoter region and induced gene expression, while antiestrogen treatment had no effect on either parameter. This suggests that complex interactions between factors located at the distal and proximal regulatory regions ultimately determine the transcriptional response of the PRL gene to E2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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