Expression of growth hormone and its transcription factor, Pit-1, in early bovine development Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • During bovine embryogenesis, bovine growth hormone (bGH) contributes to proliferation, differentiation, and modulation of embryo metabolism. Pituitary-specific transcription factor-1 (Pit-1) is a transcription factor that binds to promoters of GH, prolactin (PRL), and thyroid-stimulating hormone-beta (TSHbeta) encoding genes. A polymorphism in the fifth exon of the bGH gene resulting in a leucine (Leu) to valine (Val) substitution provides an Alu I restriction site when the Leu allele is present. To determine the onset of embryonic expression of the bGH gene, oocytes derived from ovaries homozygous for Leu alleles were fertilized in vitro with spermatozoa obtained from a Val homozygote. For each developmental stage examined, three separate pools of embryos composed of approximately 100 cell samples underwent RNA isolation, reverse transcription to cDNA, and amplification by nested PCR (nPCR). Bovine GH gene transcripts were identified at 2- to 4-cell (n = 162), 8- to 16-cell (n = 73), morulae (n = 51), and blastocyst (n = 15) stages. Likewise, transcripts for Pit-1 were detected at 2-cell (n = 125), 4-cell (n = 114), 8-cell (n = 56), 12-to-32-cell (n = 32), morulae (n = 68), and blastocyst (n = 14) stages. After digestion with Alu1, bGH cDNA was genotyped by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Bovine GH mRNA was present in all pools of stages examined. Both Leu and Val alleles (maternal and paternal) were only detected in pools of embryos that had reached 8- to 16-cell stage. Results suggest that transcription of the bGH gene begins at the 8- to 16-cell stage in bovine embryos, possibly under control of the transcription factor, Pit-1, and that RFLP analysis of the bGH gene can be used to determine parental origin of transcripts in early embryonic development.

publication date

  • March 2003