Identification of an estrogen-responsive element from the 5'-flanking region of the rat prolactin gene

R. A. Maurer, A. C. Notides

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The DNA sequences which interact with the estrogen receptor and which mediate the estrogenic regulation of prolactin gene transcription have been investigated by the use of receptor-DNA-binding experiments and gene transfer studies. Nitrocellulose filter binding assays using highly purified estrogen receptor and cloned fragments of the 5'-flanking region of the rat prolactin gene demonstrate that the receptor selectively binds to DNA sequences located between nucleotides -1713 and -1532 with respect to the transcription initiation site. The binding of the estrogen receptor to this region of the prolactin gene was strongly dependent on receptor concentration, suggesting that receptor dimers may be important in DNA binding. These data demonstrate that the selective binding of purified estrogen receptor to specific sequences of the rat prolactin gene is an intrinsic property of the receptor and is not due to the interaction of receptor with other proteins. The role of specific prolactin gene sequences in mediating the estrogenic regulation of prolactin gene transcription was confirmed by the use of prolactin-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase fusion genes. These studies demonstrated that sequences upstream of position -1532 are required for estrogen responsiveness. Furthermore, the region of the prolactin gene at -1713 to -1495 was able to confer estrogen responsiveness on the thymidine kinase promoter. Exonuclease III protection experiments further localized the receptor-binding sequences to positions -1587 to -1563. Comparison of the nucleotide sequence of the region of the prolactin gene which binds the estrogen receptor with the sequence of other estrogen-responsive genes suggested the presence of the conserved sequence 5'GGTCACN(G)(A)TG(A)(T)CCT-3', which shows similarity to sequences thought to mediate glucocorticoid receptor effects on transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4247-4254
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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