The mechanism of the negative regulation of proopiomelanocortin gene (Pomc) by glucocorticoids (Gcs) is still unclear in many points. Here, we demonstrated the involvement of neurogenic differentiation factor 1 (NeuroD1) in the Gc-mediated negative regulation of Pomc. Murine pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) producing corticotroph tumorderived AtT20 cells were treated with dexamethasone (DEX) (1-100 nM) and cultured for 24 hrs. Thereafter, Pomc mRNA expression was studied by quantitative real-time PCR and rat Pomc promoter (-703/+58) activity was examined by luciferase assay. Both Pomc mRNA expression and Pomc promoter activity were inhibited by DEX in a dose-dependent manner. Deletion and point mutant analyses of Pomc promoter suggested that the DEXmediated transcriptional repression was mediated via E-box that exists at -376/-371 in the promoter. Since NeuroD1 is known to bind to and activate E-box of the Pomc promoter, we next examined the effect of DEX on NeuroD1 expression. Interestingly, DEX dose-dependently inhibited NeuroD1 mRNA expression, mouse NeuroD1 promoter (-2.2-kb) activity, and NeuroD1 protein expression in AtT20 cells. In addition, we confirmed the inhibitory effect of DEX on the interaction of NeuroD1 and E-box on Pomc promoter by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. Finally, overexpression of mouse NeuroD1 could rescue the DEX-mediated inhibition of Pomc mRNA expression and Pomc promoter activity. Taken together, it is suggested that the suppression of NeuroD1 expression and the inhibition of NeuroD1/E-box interaction may play an important role in the Gc-mediated negative regulation of Pomc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)