Characterization of gonadotropin-releasing hormone gene transcripts in a mouse hypothalamic neuronal GT1 cell line

Tracy T.S. Yeo, Andrea C. Gore, Moshe Jakubowski, Ke Wen Dong, Mariann Blum, James Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We have characterized the nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA transcripts derived from the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) gene in a mouse hypothalamic neuronal GT1 cell line. Analyses of nuclear GnRH RNA precursors present in the GT1 cells by RNase protection assay show that there is no particular order of intron excision, suggesting the existence of multiple processing pathways. A similar pattern is observed in mouse preoptic area-anterior hypothalamus (POA-AH). In GT1 cells, approximately 5% of the total GnRH RNA transcripts are found in the nucleus. In contrast, in the POA-AH of mice, nuclear transcripts comprise 40% of the total GnRH transcripts. Thus the GT1 cells, while similar in overall GnRH RNA processing to mouse hypothalamic GnRH neurons, do not exhibit the high abundance of nuclear GnRH RNA transcripts seen in the rodent GnRH neuron in vivo. Quantitative analysis of the nuclear RNA species shows that the GnRH primary transcript comprises more than 90% of the total nuclear GnRH mRNA precursors in both GT1 cells and mouse POA-AH and thus GnRH processing intermediates account for fewer than 10% of these precursors. Using these probes, we have examined changes in GnRH primary transcript expression in GT1-7 cells. In the presence of RNA synthesis inhibitors, the half-life of the GnRH primary transcript was found to be quite short, ~18 min, suggesting that the level of primary transcript would reflect levels of GnRH gene transcription. When GT1-7 cells are treated with the phorbol ester PMA (phorbol, 12-myristate, 13-acetate) for 1 h, GnRH primary transcript levels decrease by ~70%. Supporting the hypothesis that GnRH primary transcript is a good indicator of GnRH gene transcription is the finding that 1 h of PMA treatment results in a similar (~50%) decrease in GnRH gene transcription, as assayed by nuclear run-on assay. Our observation that GT1 cells resemble mouse hypothalamic GnRH neurons in their pattern of intron excision and in the ratio of primary transcript to other nuclear transcripts emphasizes the utility of these cells for studying the regulation of GnRH gene expression in this immortalized hypothalamic cell line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • GT1 cell
  • GnRH
  • Mouse
  • Phorbol ester
  • RNA processing
  • RNase protection assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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