Activin increases phosphorylation and decreases stability of the transcription factor Pit-1 in MtTW15 somatotrope cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Activin is a polypeptide growth factor which exerts endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine effects in a variety of tissues. In the pituitary somatotrope, activin represses proliferation and growth hormone (GH) biosynthesis and secretion. We previously demonstrated that decreases in GH biosynthesis in MtTW15 somatotrope cells are due at least in part to decreased binding of the tissue-specific transcription factor, Pit-1, to the GH promoter, resulting in decreased transcription of the GH gene. The objective of the current study was to determine the extent to which activin-mediated decreases in GH transcription were the result of decreased Pit-1 activity and/or decreased Pit-1 protein content in MtTW15 cells. Activin caused rapid increases in Pit-1 phosphorylation, which were temporally correlated with decreases in GH DNA binding. Pit-1 phosphorylation preceded marked decreases in steady-state levels of Pit-1 protein. The rate of Pit-1 synthesis was only moderately decreased by activin, with a time-course similar to that observed for decreases in GH biosynthesis. However, Pit-1 stability was markedly decreased after more than 4 h of activin treatment. These data demonstrate that activin decreases GH expression in MtTW15 cells through multilevel regulation of Pit-1, which may represent a more general mechanism whereby activin and other transforming growth factor beta family members modulate gene expression through regulation of transcription factor activity as well as content.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gaddy-Kurten, D., & Vale, W. W.

complete list of authors

  • Gaddy-Kurten, D||Vale, WW

publication date

  • January 1, 1995 11:11 AM