Project: Research project

Project Details


The proopiomelanocortin (pro ACTH/endorphin, POMC) peptide hormone system
is of central importance in animal physiology in that it has a variety of
endocrine functions as well as central nervous system functions. Because
of the different functions of the POMC derived peptides, the expression of
these peptide hormones is regulated in a complex fashion. In this research
program, it is our aim to understand how the POMC gene is regulated in the
many different cell types which express it. Specifically, we wish to
examine in more detail the regulation of the POMC gene in the pituitary,
building on our previous work. Using POMC cDNAs and genomic DNAs, we plan
to identify at which levels (transcription, RNA processing, translation, or
RNA stability) glucocorticoids, estrogens, corticotropin releasing factor,
dopamine and norepinephrine act to control POMC production in the
pituitary. In addition, POMC gene expression in the hypothalamus will be
investigated using molecular biological methods which have been developed
to deal with the extremely small number of POMC producing neurons in this
tissue. using the Palkovits punch technique to isolate discrete
hypothalamic regions and in situ hybridization histochemistry to study POMC
mRNA in individual cells, we plan to identify those factors (steroid
hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. as well as physiological stimuli such as
stress) which modulate POMC mRNA levels and hopefully elucidate the
mechanism of that modulation. Using similar techniques as well as organ
culture the developmental pattern of POMC gene expression in the fetal rat
will be studied. These studies will lead to a better understanding of how
an important endocrine and neromodulatory peptide hormone system is
regulated at the molecular level.
Effective start/end date8/1/807/31/86


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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