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The insulin and cAMP response elements of the prolactin gene are overlapping sequences.

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      Prolactin gene expression is affected by numerous signals, but many of the promoter elements required for these responses have not been clearly identified. This report identifies sequences within the prolactin gene promoter that are required for the responses to cAMP and insulin. The cAMP response element, -101 to -92 shares a 6 of 8 base pair homology with previously identified cAMP response elements. Mutation of this element also results in a > 100-fold decrease in basal prolactin gene expression. This is characteristic of cAMP response elements, but the importance of this element to basal prolactin gene transcription was previously unrecognized. The insulin response element, -97 to -67, is not homologous to previously reported insulin response elements and mediates the 10-fold increases in prolactin gene expression due to insulin observed in GH cells. These elements also function to mediate insulin and cAMP responses from the heterologous delta MTV-CAT reporter plasmid. Together, insulin and cAMP increase prolactin gene expression additively. The clustering of these elements may provide clues to the independent and possible coordinate regulation by these effectors.

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