Tissue-specific, cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate-induced, and phorbol ester-repressed transcription from the human P450c17 promoter in mouse cells

Mol Endocrinol. 1990 Dec;4(12):1972-9. doi: 10.1210/mend-4-12-1972.


Cytochrome P450c17 is the single microsomal enzyme catalyzing steroid 17 alpha-hydroxylase and 17-20-lyase activities. It is expressed and regulated by tropic hormones in the human adrenal and gonads, but is not expressed in the placenta. To study the transcriptional regulation of the human P450c17 gene, we constructed 11 plasmids containing serial deletions of its 5' nontranslated region driving expression of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene. These constructs were transfected into mouse adrenal Y1 and testis MA-10 cells and incubated with forskolin, 8-bromo-cAMP, or 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13 acetate (TPA) for 12 h. Interpretation of results from standard constructions was difficult, apparently because some transcription was incorrectly initiated by DNA sequences in the vector. Therefore, we built a modified CAT reporter vector that eliminated detectable read-through transcription. In Y1 cells, the basal activity of constructs containing from -82 to -184 basepairs (bp) of 5' flanking DNA was between 80-150% of the promoterless control. Constructs containing at least -235 bp of this DNA expressed CAT at 540% of the control value, but addition of sequences to -774 had no further effect. Forskolin increased the expression of CAT activity to 300% above basal with constructions containing DNA from -184 to -774 bp. Constructs containing between -184 and -310 bp expressed CAT at 50% of the forskolin-induced levels in cells treated with TPA. Both basal and cAMP-induced expression were much lower in MA-10 cells than in Y1 cells and increased with increasing promoter length to -774.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 8-Bromo Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate / pharmacology
  • Adrenal Glands
  • Aldehyde-Lyases / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase / genetics*
  • Testis
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Transfection


  • Colforsin
  • 8-Bromo Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase
  • Aldehyde-Lyases
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M63871