The vasopressin gene is highly transcribed in magnocellular neurons of the supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in the rat hypothalamus. In order to identify cis-acting elements involved in the expression of the vasopressin gene, approximately 1 kb upstream of the transcription start site has been sequenced. Several putative regulatory elements have been detected, including a glucocorticoid response element (GRE), a cAMP response element (CRE), and four AP2 binding sites. In gel shift assays performed with a labelled DNA fragment corresponding to nucleotide residues -214 to -36 and nuclear proteins extracted from SON-derived tissue enriched in magnocellular neurons, three specific protein-DNA complexes have been detected. Complex formation is effectively competed by addition of an excess of unlabelled fragment. © 1990.
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