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Mol Endocrinol. 1993 Jul;7(7):852-60.

Characterization of the mouse FTZ-F1 gene, which encodes a key regulator of steroid hydroxylase gene expression.

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Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center Durham, North Carolina 27710.


The cytochrome P450 steroid hydroxylases are coordinately regulated by steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1), a protein expressed selectively in steroidogenic cells. Based on its expression in steroidogenic tissues and DNA-binding specificity, we isolated a putative SF-1 cDNA from an adrenocortical cDNA library. As evidence that this cDNA encodes SF-1, we now show that it is selectively expressed in steroidogenic cells, that an antiserum against its protein product specifically abolishes the SF-1-related gel-shift complex, and that its coexpression increases promoter activity of the 21-hydroxylase 5'-flanking region in transfection experiments. Sequence analyses of the SF-1 cDNA revealed that it is the mouse homolog of fushi tarazu factor I (FTZ-F1), a nuclear receptor that regulates the fushi tarazu homeobox gene in Drosophila. A second FTZ-F1 homolog, embryonal long terminal repeat-binding protein (ELP), was recently isolated from embryonal carcinoma cells. SF-1 and ELP cDNAs are virtually identical for 1017 base pairs, including putative DNA-binding domains, but diverge at their 5'- and 3'-ends. One genomic clone contained both SF-1- and ELP-specific sequences, confirming their origin from a single gene. Characterization of this gene defined shared exons encoding common regions and alternative promoters and 3'-exons leading to differences between the two FTZ-F1 transcripts. We used in situ hybridization with transcript-specific probes to study the ontogeny of SF-1 and ELP expression. ELP transcripts were not detected from embryonic day 8 to adult, consistent with its previous isolation from embryonal carcinoma cells and its postulated role in early embryonic development.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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