Purification of growth hormone-specific transcription factor GHF-1 containing homeobox

Science  10 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4892, pp. 814-817
DOI: 10.1126/science.2563596


Pituitary-specific expression of the growth hormone (GH) gene is governed by a transcription factor, GHF-1, that binds to two sites within its promoter. Recently, GHF-1 was shown to be a member of the homeobox family of DNA-binding proteins. An important question is whether GHF-1 controls the expression of other pituitary specific genes, such as prolactin (Prl), expressed in closely related cell types. To this end, GHF-1 was purified from extracts of GH- and Prl-expressing pituitary tumor cells and identified as a 33-kilodalton polypeptide. Although GHF-1 bound to and activated the GH promoter, it did not recognize the Prl promoter. However, at least one other factor in the same extracts, which was easily separated from GHF-1, bound to several sites within the Prl but not the GH promoter. Antibodies to GHF-1 did not react with the Prl binding activity. These results imply that the pituitary-specific expression of GH and Prl is governed by two distinct trans-acting factors.