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J Biol Chem. 1996 Apr 12;271(15):8911-8.

Hormonally regulated double- and single-stranded DNA-binding complexes involved in mouse beta-casein gene transcription.

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Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Transcription of the 252-base pair-long mouse beta-casein gene promoter is induced by the synergistic action of insulin, prolactin, and glucocorticoid in a primary mammary epithelial cell culture. The promoter contains a region termed block C having a highly conserved sequence and position among many casein genes. Mutation of block C reduced the response of the promoter to lactogenic hormones 84%. Nuclear extracts from lactating mouse mammary glands contained both a double-stranded and a single-stranded DNA binding protein complex (DS1 and SS), which specifically bind to the sequences AAATTAGCATGT and CCACAA of block C, respectively. The DS1 and the SS protein complexes were approximately 400 and 280 kDa, respectively. Each complex contained a DNA-binding component(s) having a molecular mass of approximately 120 kDa for DS1 and 80 and 65 kDa for SS. Deoxycholate, which interferes with the protein-protein interactions, inhibited the binding activities of DS1 and SS. The maximal increase in the binding activity of DS1 and SS in the mammary gland occurred during pregnancy and during lactation, respectively. In organ culture, the DS1 activity is increased by epidermal growth factor or prolactin in combination with insulin, whereas the SS activity is enhanced by insulin, prolactin, and glucocorticoid. These results suggest that multiprotein complexes binding to the double- and single-stranded DNA of block C mediate hormonal induction of beta-casein gene transcription.

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