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J Neurochem. 1998 Jun;70(6):2286-95.

Glucocorticoid-dependent action of neural crest factor AP-2: stimulation of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase gene expression.

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Nancy Pritzker Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5485, USA.


AP-2 is a vertebrate transcription factor expressed in neural crest cells and their derivative tissues, including the adrenal medulla, where epinephrine is produced. AP-2 is shown to stimulate expression of the gene encoding the epinephrine biosynthetic enzyme phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). However, stimulation of the PNMT gene by AP-2 requires glucocorticoids and appears to be mediated through the interaction of AP-2 with activated type II glucocorticoid receptors. Mutation of AP-2 and/or glucocorticoid receptor binding elements within the PNMT promoter disrupts the ability of AP-2 and glucocorticoids to induce PNMT promoter activity. These findings suggest, in the case of PNMT, that AP-2 stimulates gene expression through a novel glucocorticoid-dependent mechanism.

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