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

Function and regulation of gastrin in transgenic mice: a review.

The gastrin gene is expressed in fetal pancreatic islet cells, but in the adult is expressed mainly in the gastric antrum. To study the regulation of the gastrin promoter, we created several transgenes containing the human and rat gastrin 5' flanking regions joined to the coding sequences of the human gastrin gene. The human gastrin transgene contained 1,300 bp of 5' flanking DNA, while the rat gastrin transgene contained 450 bp of 5' flanking DNA. The human gastrin transgene was expressed in fetal islets, but was not expressed in adult gastric antrum. In contrast, the rat gastrin transgene was expressed in adult antral G cells, but no expression was observed in fetal islets. To study the possible role of gastrin as an islet growth factor, a chimeric insulin-gastrin (INS-GAS) transgene was created, in which the expression of the human gastrin gene is driven from the rat insulin I promoter. These INS-GAS mice were mated with mice overexpressing TGF alpha, transcribed from a mouse metallothionein-transforming growth factor alpha (MT-TGF alpha) transgene. While overexpression of gastrin or TGF alpha alone had no effect on islet mass, overexpression of both transgenes resulted in a twofold increase in islet mass. In conclusion, these data indicate that (1) gastrin can interact synergistically with TGF alpha to stimulate islet growth; (2) the human gastrin transgene contains the islet specific enhancer; (3) the rat gastrin transgene contains the antral specific enhancer.[1]


  1. Function and regulation of gastrin in transgenic mice: a review. Wang, T.C., Brand, S.J. The Yale journal of biology and medicine. (1992) [Pubmed]
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