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Mol Cell Biol. 1995 Mar;15(3):1747-58.

Hepatic nuclear factor 3- and hormone-regulated expression of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1 genes.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, Tennessee 37232.


The rate of transcription of the hepatic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) genes is stimulated by glucocorticoids and inhibited by insulin. In both cases, the effect of insulin is dominant, since it suppresses both basal and glucocorticoid-stimulated PEPCK or IGFBP-1 gene transcription. Analyses of both promoters by transfection of PEPCK or IGFBP-1-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase fusion genes into rat hepatoma cells has led to the identification of insulin response sequences (IRSs) in both genes. The core IRS, T(G/A)TTTTG, is the same in both genes, but the PEPCK promoter has a single copy of this element whereas the IGFBP-1 promoter has two copies arranged as an inverted palindrome. The IGFBP-1 IRS and PEPCK IRS both bind the alpha and beta forms of hepatic nuclear factor 3 (HNF-3), although the latter does so with a sixfold-lower relative affinity. Both the PEPCK and the IGFBP-1 IRSs also function as accessory factor binding sites required for the full induction of gene transcription by glucocorticoids. A combination of transient transfection and DNA binding studies suggests that HNF-3 is the accessory factor that supports glucocorticoid-induced gene transcription. In both genes, the HNF-3 binding site overlaps the IRS core motif(s). A model in which insulin is postulated to mediate its negative effect on glucocorticoid-induced PEPCK and IGFBP-1 gene transcription indirectly by inhibiting HNF-3 action is proposed.

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