Cyclic AMP regulation of eukaryotic gene transcription by two discrete molecular mechanisms

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Science  19 Jul 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4710, pp. 267-269
DOI: 10.1126/science.2990047


In experiments designed to study the mechanism by which peptide hormones binding to their plasma membrane receptors stimulate the expression of specific genes, the transcription of two neuroendocrine genes, prolactin and growth hormone, was analyzed in a rat pituitary cell line. The results showed that cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) stimulates the transcription of discrete subsets of eukaryotic genes by at least two independent molecular mechanisms. Cyclic AMP stimulated growth hormone gene transcription and phosphorylation of a 19,000-dalton nuclear protein; this appears to reflect direct nuclear actions of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase. In contrast, the stimulation by cyclic AMP of prolactin gene transcription appears to reflect activation of a discrete calcium-dependent event.