Cell contacts are required for induction by cortisol of glutamine synthetase gene transcription in the retina

L. Vardimon, L. L. Fox, L. Degenstein, A. A. Moscona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

In embryonic neural retina the enzyme glutamine synthetase [GS; L-glutamate:ammonia ligase (ADP-forming), EC 6.3.1.2] is a glia-specific differentiation marker inducible with cortisol. We show that cortisol elicits GS mRNA accumulation by stimulating transcription of the GS gene and that this stimulation requires cell contacts: in dissociated and separated retina cells GS gene transcription was not induced; when the separated cells were reassembled into multicellular aggregates, restoring cell contacts, accumulation of GS mRNA was again inducible. In cells dissociated from retina tissue that had been preinduced with cortisol, GS gene transcription rapidly declined, despite continued hormone availability. In the separated cells transcription of the histone H3.3 gene and accumulation of carbonic anhydrase II mRNA were unaffected; therefore, cell separation selectively precluded induction of the GS gene. These findings provide direct evidence for the regulatory role of cell contacts in hormonal control of gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5981-5985
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume85
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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