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

A tissue-specific transcription factor containing a homeodomain specifies a pituitary phenotype.

Multiple related cis-active elements required for cell-specific activation of the rat prolactin gene appear to bind a pituitary-specific positive transcription factor(s), referred to as Pit-1. DNA complementary to Pit-1 mRNA, cloned on the basis of specific binding to AT-rich cell-specific elements in the rat prolactin and growth hormone genes, encodes a 33 kd protein with significant similarity at its carboxyl terminus to the homeodomains encoded by Drosophila developmental genes. Pit-1 mRNA is expressed exclusively in the anterior pituitary gland in both somatotroph and lactotroph cell types, which produce growth hormone and prolactin, respectively. Pit-1 expression in heterologous cells (HeLa) selectively activates prolactin and growth hormone fusion gene expression, suggesting that Pit-1 is sufficient to confer a characteristic pituitary phenotype. The structure of Pit-1 and its recognition elements suggests that metazoan tissue phenotype is controlled by a family of transcription factors that bind to related cis-active elements and contain several highly conserved domains.[1]


  1. A tissue-specific transcription factor containing a homeodomain specifies a pituitary phenotype. Ingraham, H.A., Chen, R.P., Mangalam, H.J., Elsholtz, H.P., Flynn, S.E., Lin, C.R., Simmons, D.M., Swanson, L., Rosenfeld, M.G. Cell (1988) [Pubmed]
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