Post-transcriptional Regulation of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression in Adrenal Medulla and Brain

Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.31). 01/2009; 1148(1):238-48. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1410.054
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is well established that long-term stress leads to induction of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA and TH protein in adrenal medulla and brain. This induction is usually associated with stimulation of the TH gene transcription rate. However, a number of studies have reported major discrepancies between the stress-induced changes in TH gene transcription, TH mRNA, and TH protein. These discrepancies suggest that post-transcriptional mechanisms also play an important role in regulating TH expression in response to stress and other stimuli. In this report, we summarize some of our findings and literature reports that demonstrate these discrepancies in adrenal medulla, locus ceruleus, and midbrain dopamine neurons. We then describe our recent work investigating the molecular mechanisms that mediate this post-transcriptional regulation in adrenal medulla and midbrain. Our results suggest that trans-acting factors binding to the polypyrimidine-rich region of the 3' untranslated region of TH mRNA play a role in these post-transcriptional mechanisms. A hypothetical cellular model describing this post-transcriptional regulation is proposed.

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