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Mol Cell Biol. 1987 Apr;7(4):1496-507.

Glucocorticoids enhance stability of human growth hormone mRNA.


We have studied the control of expression of the human growth hormone (hGH) gene introduced into the chromosomes of mouse fibroblasts. Cell lines transformed with the hGH gene expressed low levels of intact hGH mRNA and secreted hGH protein into the medium. Although the level of expression of hGH mRNA was low, the gene remained responsive to induction by glucocorticoid hormones. To localize the sequences responsible for induction and to determine the mechanism by which these cis-acting sequences enhance gene expression, we have constructed a series of fusion genes between the hGH gene and the herpes simplex virus (HSV) thymidine kinase (tk) gene. We have demonstrated that a fusion gene in which hGH cDNA is flanked at its 5' terminus by an HSV tk promoter and is flanked at its 3' terminus by 3' HSV tk DNA remains inducible by glucocorticoids. Our studies indicate that the hGH exons contain sequences which are responsible for glucocorticoid hormone induction. Pulse-chase experiments, in vitro nuclear transcription, and approach to steady-state measurements indicate that the mechanisms responsible for induction of the hGH cDNA fusion gene operate posttranscriptionally to enhance the stability of hGH mRNA. Moreover, this increased stability was associated with an increase in the length of the 3' poly(A) tail on hGH mRNA.

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