Transcriptional mechanisms in anterior pituitary cell differentiation

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1994 Oct;4(5):709-17. doi: 10.1016/0959-437x(94)90138-s.


Development of the anterior pituitary gland involves the establishment of five distinct cell lineages which are each characterized by the expression of specific trophic hormone genes. Recent studies of the thyrotrope, somatotrope, and lactotrope cell types have investigated the molecular decisions responsible for the commitment and differentiation of these cell types and have characterized the regulatory mechanisms that govern cell-specific expression of individual hormone genes. In particular, elucidation of the molecular basis of heritable dwarf phenotypes lacking particular pituitary cell lineages, such as the Snell, Jackson, and little dwarf mice, and studies of the regulation of trans-acting factors, including Pit-1, involved in pituitary cell restricted gene activation have begun to delineate the pathways responsible for development of this organ.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / cytology
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / growth & development*
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / metabolism
  • Pituitary Hormones, Anterior / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factor Pit-1
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • POU1F1 protein, human
  • Pituitary Hormones, Anterior
  • Transcription Factor Pit-1
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA