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J Biol Chem. 1987 Nov 5;262(31):15236-41.

Isolation and sequencing of a cDNA clone for a prolactin-inducible protein (PIP). Regulation of PIP gene expression in the human breast cancer cell line, T-47D.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


We have initiated an analysis of the action of prolactin in a human breast cancer cell line (T-47D) by isolating and sequencing cDNA clones for a prolactin-inducible protein (PIP). PIP cDNA (approximately 600 base pairs) was isolated from a lambda gt11 expression library prepared from mRNA extracted from T-47D cells treated with prolactin and hydrocortisone. The identity of PIP cDNA was confirmed by hybrid-selected translation. PIP mRNA is a single mRNA species of approximately 900 bases which responds to lactogenic hormones (human prolactin and growth hormone) in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Treatment of T-47D cells with human growth hormone (hGH) increased PIP mRNA levels by 4.6-fold, while the combination of hGH and hydrocortisone or dihydrotestosterone had a more dramatic, 12.4-fold, effect. The latter steroid was the most potent. Dihydrotestosterone plus hGH increased transcription of the PIP gene by 3.7-fold. Dihydrotestosterone alone was as effective as dihydrotestosterone plus hGH in increasing the transcription rate, while hGH alone had no effect. Thus, lactogen may regulate PIP gene expression at a post-transcriptional step. PIP mRNA was expressed at low levels in other human breast cancer cell lines which were prolactin receptor-positive; MCF-7 and EFM-19 lines were exceptions. PIP cDNA had an open reading frame of 146 amino acids, sufficient to encode the precursor form of the secreted PIP protein (approximately 14.5 kDa). The similarity of the predicted amino acid sequence of PIP to the sequence of a protein encoded by a gene expressed in the mouse submaxillary gland prompted us to look for PIP in human saliva. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of PIP in human saliva. Therefore, the PIP gene is useful in studying the molecular actions of the prolactin/growth hormone polypeptide hormone family and the interaction with androgen, in mammary and other potential target cells.

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