Pit-1, a tissue-specific POU domain transcription factor, is required for the activation of the prolactin, growth hormone, and Pit-1 promoters that confer regulation by epidermal growth factor, adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP), and phorbol esters. Pit-1 is phosphorylated in pituitary cells at two distinct sites in response to phorbol esters and cAMP. Phosphorylation of Pit-1 modifies its conformation on DNA recognition elements and results in increased binding at certain sites and decreased binding at other sites, dependent on DNA sequences adjacent to the core Pit-1 binding motif. One residue (Thr220), located in the POU homeodomain within a sequence conserved throughout the POU-domain family, confers these responses.
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