Cell-specific expression of the human gonadotropin-releasing hormone gene in transgenic animals

Andrew M. Wolfe, Susan Wray, Heiner Westphal, Sally Radovick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We have previously demonstrated that 1131 base pairs (bp) of the human gonadotropin-releasing hormone (hGnRH) gene promoter can target simian virus 40 T antigen expression to GnRH neurons in transgenic mice. In these animals, GnRH neurons were transformed before they migrated to their final location in the rostral hypothalamus, complicating an analysis of cell-specific expression. To localize regions of the hGnRH promoter that are important for cell-specific expression, we created transgenic mice with various 5'-flanking regions of the hGnRH gene fused to the luciferase reporter gene. When 3828 or 1131 bp of the hGnRH promoter 5'-flanking DNA were used (-3828/+5LUC and -1131/+5LUC, respectively), luciferase expression in adult transgenic mice was observed in the rostral hypothalamus and olfactory tissues, regions which have been shown to be loci of GnRH-expressing neurons. Luciferase expression was not observed in other brain or peripheral tissues. Double-labeled in situ hybridization further demonstrated that luciferase expression was invariably colocalized with GnRH expression. When transgenic animals were created with a construct consisting of 484 bp of the hGnRH 5'-flanking DNA fused to the luciferase gene (-484/+5LUC), luciferase expression was not observed in the hypothalamus or in olfactory tissues. This is the first report localizing DNA sequences responsible for cell-specific expression of the GnRH gene in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20018-20023
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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