Thyrotropin stimulates transcription from the ferritin heavy chain promoter

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Nov 30;165(1):506-11. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)91098-x.


Thyrotropin (TSH) is the primary hormone regulating the activity of the thyroid gland. We have recently shown that TSH stimulates H-ferritin mRNA levels in rat thyroid. Ferritin plays a key role in determining the intracellular fate of iron. The induction of ferritin synthesis by iron in liver is regulated both at transcriptional and translational levels. Here we present evidence that the mechanisms by which TSH regulates the mRNA levels are mediated by a diffusible product acting in trans on its own promoter. In fact, the H-ferritin promoter mediates increased CAT activity in response to hormone induction. Our results identify transcription as an important regulatory step of TSH action. They suggest that TSH induces expression of the ferritin gene, and that continuous protein synthesis is required to maintain basal ferritin gene expression in the absence of hormone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Ferritins / genetics*
  • Genes / drug effects*
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / drug effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Thyrotropin / pharmacology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thyrotropin
  • Ferritins