The transcription factor Pit-1/GHF-1 plays an important role in regulating the prolactin (Prl) and growth hormone (GH) genes in mammals. In this study, the role that Pit-1 plays in regulating the prolactin and growth hormone genes in avian species was examined by cotransfection assays and immunofluorescence staining of pituitary sections. In cotransfection assays, turkey Pit-1 activated the turkey Prl, turkey GH, and rat Prl promoters 3.8-, 3.7-, and 12.5-fold, respectively. This activation was comparable to rat Pit-1 activation of these same promoters. A point mutation in the turkey Pit-1 cDNA, which changed leu-219 to ser-219, resulted in a 2-, 2-, and 10-fold reduction in the activation of the turkey Prl, turkey GH, and rat Prl promoters, respectively. Unexpectedly, coexpression of tPit-1 (leu-219) and tPit-1(ser-219) activated turkey Prl and rat Prl promoters 9.4- and 35.9-fold, respectively, but had no effect on the turkey GH promoter. Dual-label immunofluorescence analysis of turkey pituitary sections revealed that Pit-1 was not detectable in prolactin-staining cells but was detectable in GH-staining cells. Taken together, these data indicate that in the domestic turkey, Pit-1 can activate the turkey Prl promoter in vitro, but does not appear to play a role in regulating Prl gene expression in vivo. Pit-1, however, still likely plays a role in regulating GH gene expression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology