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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1997 Jul;62(4):243-52.

A sequence in the 5' flanking region confers progestin responsiveness on the human c-myc gene.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Marshall University School of Medicine, Huntington, West Virginia 25755, USA.


Previous reports have shown that progestins stimulate the proliferation of the human breast cancer cell line T47D in culture. Under different conditions other reports have shown progestin stimulation, inhibition or no effect on growth. It has also been shown that c-myc expression is stimulated at early times by progestins. We are currently testing the hypothesis that the mechanism of growth enhancement by progestins involves the stimulation of expression of c-myc. This hypothesis predicts a progesterone regulatory region in or near the c-myc gene. We have identified a region, from -2327 to -1833, which serves this function. This region includes a 15 bp sequence with homology to the PRE (progesterone response element) consensus sequence. Human progesterone receptor (PR) binds to this sequence in a specific, ligand-enhanced manner in electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA). A 3507 bp HindIII-XbaI fragment of the 5' flanking region of the c-myc gene, -2327 to +1180, containing the progestin regulatory region and the c-myc promoter, confers progestin responsiveness to the CAT (chloramphenicol acetyl transferase) reporter gene in progesterone receptor (PR)-rich T47D human breast cancer cells, but not in PR-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. Removal of the progestin regulatory region abrogates progestin responsiveness. These data demonstrate that the sequence from -2327 to -1833 of the human c-myc gene includes a positive progestin regulatory region.

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