The transcription of rat prolactin and growth hormone genes in vitro requires a pituitary transcription factor, specific to certain cell types in the pituitary, which currently appears to be the PUF‐I/Pit‐1/GHF‐1 protein. This factor binds to cis‐regulatory elements in the 5′ region of both genes and exerts a positive influence on transcription initiation presumably by interacting with general transcription factors. The PUF‐I/Pit‐1/GHF‐1 transcriptional regulatory protein probably has an important role in not only the differentiation of the pituitary lactotroph/somatotroph cell lineage; it is also expressed in the early development of the nervous system but its function there is less well documented. It appears to be one member of a family of trans‐activator proteins involved in differential gene expression in several cell types.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)