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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1994 Sep;104(2):173-81.

Modulation of hepatocyte growth factor gene expression by estrogen in mouse ovary.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15261.


Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is expressed in a variety of tissues and cell types under normal conditions and in response to various stimuli such as tissue injury. In the present study, we demonstrate that the transcription of the HGF gene is stimulated by estrogen in mouse ovary. A single injection of 17 beta-estradiol results in a dramatic and transient elevation of the levels of mouse HGF mRNA. Sequence analysis has found that two putative estrogen responsive elements (ERE) reside at -872 in the 5'-flanking region and at +511 in the first intron, respectively, of the mouse HGF gene. To test whether these ERE elements are responsible for estrogen induction of HGF gene expression, chimeric plasmids containing variable regions of the 5'-flanking sequence of HGF gene and the coding region for chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene were transiently transfected into both human endometrial carcinoma RL 95-2 cells and mouse fibroblast NIH 3T3 cells to assess hormone responsiveness. Transfection results indicate that the ERE elements of the mouse HGF gene can confer estrogen action to either homologous or heterologous promoters. Nuclear protein extracts either from RL95-2 cells transfected with the estrogen receptor expression vector or from mouse liver bound in vitro to ERE elements specifically, as shown by band shift assay. Therefore, our results demonstrate that the HGF gene is transcriptionally regulated by estrogen in mouse ovary; and such regulation is mediated via a direct interaction of the estrogen receptor complex with cis-acting ERE elements identified in the mouse HGF gene.

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