Dexamethasone stimulation of metallothionein synthesis in HeLa cell cultures

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Science  13 Apr 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4389, pp. 176-177
DOI: 10.1126/science.432639


HeLa cells in culture synthesize metallothionein. To investigate the effects of glucocorticoids on metallothionein synthesis we adapted HeLa cells to growth in a defined medium lacking hydrocortisone. In this defined medium, containing 1.5 x 10(-6)M Zn2+, dexamethasone (10(-6)M) caused a five- to sixfold increase in the synthesis of metallothionein. Progesterone (10(-5)M), a known antagonist of glucocorticoids, inhibited this response by 50 percent.