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    Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is thought to play a role in the development and regulation of gonadotrophs. PACAP levels are very high in the rodent fetal pituitary, and decline substantially and rapidly at birth, followed by a significant rise in FSHβ and GnRH-R expression. Because there is evidence that PACAP stimulates its own transcription, we propose that this self-regulation is interrupted around the time of birth. To begin to examine the mechanisms for PACAP self-regulation, we used two well-established gonadotroph cell lines, αT3-1 cells and the more mature LβT2 cells which were transfected with a PACAP promoter-reporter construct As in vivo, the basal PACAP transcription level is significantly lower in the more mature LβT2 cells in which basal cAMP signaling is also much reduced. The PACAP promoter was stimulated by PACAP in both cell lines. Treatment with inhibitors of second messenger pathways implicated PKA, PKC and MAPK in PACAP transcription. Three regions of the PACAP promoter were found to confer inhibition or stimulation of PACAP transcription. By inhibiting cAMP response element binding (CREB) activity and mutating a proximal CREB binding site, we found that CREB is essential for promoter activation. Finally, overexpression of PACAP receptor HOP1 isoform, to increase the level in LβT2 cells to that of αT3-1 cells and simulate the E19 pituitary, increased PACAP- stimulated sensitivity and significantly altered downstream gene transcription. These results provide novel insight into the feed-forward regulation of PACAP expression that may help initiate gonadotroph function at birth. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Rongquiang Yang, Stephen J Winters, Joseph P Moore. Signaling pathways and promoter regions that mediate pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) self-regulation in gonadotrophs. Molecular and cellular endocrinology. 2020 Jul 15;512:110851

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    PMID: 32439415

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