Transcriptional regulation of follicle-stimulating hormone β-subunit in marmoset by an alternate distal promoter

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2017 May 15;246:331-336. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.01.009. Epub 2017 Jan 4.


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is essential for mammalian folliculogenesis and spermatogenesis. Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a New World primate which exhibits an unusual FSH profile across the ovarian cycle with a mid-follicular FSH peak that is not observed in Catarrhini primates like humans. Since transcription of FSH β-subunit gene (FSHβ) is a rate-limiting step in the production of mature FSH, this study aimed to investigate the regulation of marmoset FSHβ gene expression in comparison to human. In silico analysis of the FSHβ promoter sequences identified a TATA box element upstream of the conventional TATA box element in marmoset but not in human sequence. FSHβ mRNA transcript longer than the conventional transcript was detected in marmoset pituitary implying presence of a distal transcription start site. In luciferase reporter assays, the marmoset putative distal promoter had higher activity than the corresponding human region even in absence of the conventional proximal promoter. Indeed higher affinity binding of TATA box-binding protein to the putative distal TATA box element was obtained in electrophoretic mobility shift assay. This suggests existence of a differential regulation of FSHβ transcription in marmoset compared to humans.

Keywords: Follicle-stimulating hormone; Marmoset; TATA box; Transcription; β-Subunit.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Callithrix / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Monkey Diseases / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone