Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9714537
FEBS Lett. 1998 Jul;431(3):333-8
mLIM3, a member of the LIM homeobox family, was recently demonstrated to be critical for proliferation and differentiation of the pituitary cell lineage. Using a pool of degenerate oligonucleotides we determined the DNA sequence ANNAGGAAA(T/C)GA(CIG)AA as the set preferentially recognized by mLIM3. A nearly identical sequence is found in the prolactin (PRL) promoter, within a 15-mer stretch from nucleotides (nts) -218 to -204 which is highly conserved between human, rat, and bovine. In order to test the hypothesis of a transcriptional effect of mLIM3 on the prolactin promoter, stable transfectants of mLIM3 cDNA in AtT20 tumor cells revealed that PRL mRNA expression was induced in 3 separate stable clones. Gel retardation experiments performed using nuclear extracts isolated from one of the AtT20/mLIM3 stable transfectants revealed affinity towards the 15-mer element of the PRL promoter. From these results, we propose that the PRL promoter element (nts -218 to -204) could be functional in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate that in AtT20 cells prolactin mRNA expression is not induced by the Pit-1/GHF-1 pathway and that growth hormone mRNA is not detected concomitantly with prolactin. We conclude that mLIM3 may play a key role in inducing PRL gene expression in lactotrophs by binding to a conserved motif close to a Pit-1/GHF-1 site within the proximal PRL promoter.