Brain 4: a novel mammalian POU domain transcription factor exhibiting restricted brain-specific expression

EMBO J. 1992 Jul;11(7):2551-61.


The POU domain gene family of transcription factors share a conserved bipartite DNA binding domain, and exhibit distinct temporal and spatial patterns of expression during development, particularly in the forebrain. A cDNA encoding a new member of the POU-III class of the POU domain gene family, referred to as Brn-4, was isolated from a rat hypothalamic cDNA library. Like other mammalian POU-III genes previously characterized (Brn-1, Brn-2, Tst-1), Brn-4 transcripts are initially widely expressed at all levels of the developing neural tube, but in contrast to other previously described POU-III genes, are subsequently restricted to only a few regions of the adult forebrain, including the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. Brn-4 was shown to bind to DNA sequences containing the octamer motif and to trans-activate promoters containing this DNA binding motif, based on the actions of a unique N-terminal information. This ontogenic pattern of Brn-4 expression in concert with that of Oct-2 and Pit-1, indicates that certain POU domain genes potentially exert their primary functions widely during early neural development, and in a very limited set of neurons in the mature brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • POU Domain Factors
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • POU Domain Factors
  • Pou3f4 protein, rat
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X66291
  • GENBANK/X66292
  • GENBANK/X66293
  • GENBANK/X66294
  • GENBANK/X67725
  • GENBANK/X67726
  • GENBANK/X68880
  • GENBANK/X68881
  • GENBANK/X68882
  • GENBANK/Z11834