Lhx3/LIM-3/P-Lim is a LIM homeodomain transcription factor which is essential in mice for the development of anterior and intermediate lobes of the pituitary gland. We report the cloning and characterization of porcine Lhx3. The porcine Lhx3 protein exhibits strong similarity to murine Lhx3 within the amino terminal LIM domains and the homeodomain, however, it is diverged in regions outside these motifs. Expression vectors for porcine Lhx3 activated murine and porcine alpha-glycoprotein reporter genes in transfection assays, and recombinant porcine Lhx3 protein specifically bound to a target site within the porcine alpha-glycoprotein gene upstream sequence. In addition, porcine Lhx3 synergistically induced transcription from prolactin enhancer/promoter reporter genes in cooperation with the Pit- I pituitary transcription factor. Porcine Lhx3 protein interacted with Pit-1 protein in solution and also with the LIM domain-binding protein NLI/Lbd1/CLIM. Together, these data indicate that many aspects of Lhx3 function in the mammalian pituitary are conserved and that Lhx3 may be involved in the activation of trophic hormone genes during early and late stages of pituitary organogenesis. Divergence in the Lhx3 amino acid sequence between mammalian species may suggest distinct activities for this protein in some species and may help identify important functional domains of this key developmental transcription factor.
- Trophic hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism