The pituitary-specific transcription factor GHF-1 is a homeobox-containing protein

Cell. 1988 Nov 4;55(3):505-18. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90037-2.


Growth hormone factor 1 (GHF-1) is a pituitary-specific transcription factor that plays a critical role in cell type-specific expression of the growth hormone (GH) gene. Here, we describe the isolation of bovine and rat GHF-1 cDNA clones. These cDNAs encode proteins whose molecular mass, 33K, is identical to purified GHF-1 and whose sequence agrees with a partial GHF-1 peptide sequence. The predicted GHF-1 sequence contains a region, near its C-terminus, that exhibits considerable similarity to a homeobox consensus sequence. DNAase I footprinting with bacterially expressed fusion protein containing a fragment of GHF-1 encompassing the homeobox indicates that this region of the protein functions as its DNA binding domain. Expression of GHF-1 is restricted to cells of the somatotropic lineage in the pituitary. This remarkable specificity of GHF-1 expression correlates with the selective transcription of its target, the GH gene. Other mammalian homeobox-containing proteins may function similarly as transcription factors controlling cell type-specific expression in other locations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • DNA / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Growth Hormone / analysis
  • Growth Hormone / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Pituitary Gland / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Peptides
  • Transcription Factors
  • Growth Hormone
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X12657
  • GENBANK/X12658