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

Molecular mechanisms for somatostatin inhibition of c-fos gene expression.

We reported previously that somatostatin inhibits the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos. Accordingly, we characterized the molecular mechanisms by which somatostatin inhibits c-fos gene expression. Because growth factors activate c-fos through a region of its promoter known as the serum response element [SRE; base pairs (bp) -357 to -276] we transfected rat pituitary adenoma cells (GH3) with plasmids containing the SRE or the SRE core fragment (bp -320 to -298) upstream of the luciferase reporter gene. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulated SRE-luciferase activity, and this effect was inhibited by somatostatin and by the analog MK-678. Identical results were obtained with the SRE core plasmid, demonstrating that the sequence between bp -320 and -298 of the c-fos promoter is a somatostatin response element. Because the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs) induce the SRE via phosphorylation of transcription factors such as Elk-1, we examined the effect of somatostatin on ERK phosphorylation and activation. EGF stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of ERK2, and MK-678 attenuated this effect. In experiments using in-gel kinase assays, MK-678 also inhibited EGF- stimulated ERK activity via a pertussis toxin sensitive pathway, and this effect resulted in inhibition of Elk-1 transcriptional activity. Our data suggest that one mechanism of somatostatin action involves inhibition of ERK activity, Elk-1 phosphorylation and transcriptional activation, and ultimately c-fos gene transcription.[1]


  1. Molecular mechanisms for somatostatin inhibition of c-fos gene expression. Todisco, A., Takeuchi, Y., Yamada, J., Sadoshima, J.I., Yamada, T. Am. J. Physiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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