Expression of rat thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) Gene in TRH-Producing Tissues of Transgenic Mice Requires Sequences Located in Exon 1

Wayne Balkan, Marie A. Tavianini, Peter J. Gkonos, Bernard A. Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


TRH, an amidated tripeptide secreted by certain hypothalamic neurons, is a principal regulator of TSH secretion and thyroid hormone release. TRH is also produced by other neurons in the central nervous system, where it appears to function as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter, and by certain endocrine cells, where it may act as an autocrine or paracrine factor. The genomic organization of the rat TRH (rTRH) gene is well understood; however, the domains of the rTRH gene that regulate expression are less well characterized. We observed that the region between -47 and +6 of the rTRH gene (relative to the transcription start site at +1) was active in CA-77 cells, a medullary thyroid carcinoma cell line model of TRH production, but was not active in transgenic mice. Inclusion of most of exon 1 (84 out of 103 bp; -47 to+ 84) increased promoter activity in CA-77 cells and was active in transgenic mice, principally in tissues that normally express the TRH gene. Further lengthening of the 5' end to -243, -547, or -776 retained this expression in TRH-producing tissues in transgenic mice, while further increasing activity in CA-77 cells. These results suggest that cis element(s) located within exon 1 are necessary for the expression of the rTRH gene in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this