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Dev Biol. 1988 Dec;130(2):536-42.

Murine glutamine synthetase: cloning, developmental regulation, and glucocorticoid inducibility.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, Chicago 60680.


We have cloned the murine glutamine synthetase (GS) gene and measured GS enzyme activity and mRNA in five tissues (retina, brain, liver, kidney, and skeletal muscle) during perinatal development. Retinal GS enzyme activity increases 200-fold between Day 1 and Day 21 and is accompanied by an increase in the level of GS mRNA; developmental regulation in other tissues is much less dramatic. Based on Southern blotting analysis, a single GS gene gives rise to the tissue-specific patterns of GS mRNA expression. The increase in murine retinal GS observed during perinatal development is similar in magnitude to that observed in the chicken retina just prior to hatching. In the embryonic chicken retina, glucocorticoid hormones mediate a large increase in the level of GS mRNA. However, although glucocorticoids induce a 12-fold increase in GS mRNA in murine skeletal muscle, expression of the retinal enzyme and mRNA is only modestly glucocorticoid-inducible in the mouse. Therefore, despite the hormonal responsiveness of the murine GS gene, it is not likely that glucocorticoids are important physiological modulators of the developmental rise in murine retinal GS.

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