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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Involvement of STAT5 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5) and HNF-4 (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4) in the transcriptional control of the hnf6 gene by growth hormone.

HNF-6 is a tissue-restricted transcription factor that participates in the regulation of several genes in liver. We reported earlier that in adult rats, HNF-6 mRNA concentration in liver drops to almost undetectable levels after hypophysectomy and returns to normal after 1 week of GH treatment. We now show that this results from a rapid effect of GH, and we characterize its molecular mechanism. In hypophysectomized rats, HNF-6 mRNAs increased within 1 h after a single injection of GH. The same GH-dependent induction was reproduced on isolated hepatocytes. To determine whether GH regulates hnf6 expression at the gene level, we studied its promoter. DNA binding experiments showed that 1) the transcription factors STAT5 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5) and HNF-4 (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4) bind to sites located around -110 and -650, respectively; and 2) STAT5 binding is induced and HNF-4 binding affinity is increased in liver within 1 h after GH injection to hypophysectomized rats. Using transfection experiments and site-directed mutagenesis, we found that STAT5 and HNF-4 stimulated transcription of an hnf6 gene promoter-reporter construct. Furthermore, GH stimulated transcription of this construct in cells that express GH receptors. Consistent with our earlier finding that HNF-6 stimulates the hnf4 and hnf3beta gene promoters, GH treatment of hypophysectomized rats increased the liver concentration of HNF-4 and HNF-3beta mRNAs. Together, these data demonstrate that GH stimulates transcription of the hnf6 gene by a mechanism involving STAT5 and HNF-4. They show that HNF-6 participates not only as an effector, but also as a target, to the regulatory network of liver transcription factors, and that several members of this network are GH regulated.[1]


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