Hepatic-specific accessibility of Igf1 gene enhancers is independent of growth hormone signaling

Mahalakshmi Santhanam, Dennis J. Chia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The diverse roles of IGF-1 in physiology include acting as the endocrine intermediate to elicit the anabolic actions of GH. The majority of serum IGF-1 is synthesized in liver, where GH stimulates Igf1 gene transcription via the transcription factor, signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat)5b.Weand others have identified multiple Stat5-binding domains at the Igf1 locus that function in gene regulation, but it remains unclear whether the roles of these domains are tissue specific. Survey of the chromatin landscape of regulatory domains can provide insight about mechanisms of gene regulation, with chromatin accessibility regarded as a hallmark feature of regulatory domains. We prepared chromatin from liver, kidney, and spleen of C57BL/6 mice, and used formaldehyde-associated isolation of regulatory elements to assess chromatin accessibility at the major Igf1 promoter and 7 -binding enhancers. Whereas the promoters of other prototypical tissue-specific genes are open in a tissue-specific way, the major Igf1 promoter is open in all 3 tissues, albeit moderately more so in liver. In contrast, chromatin accessibility at Igf1 Stat5-binding domains is essentially restricted to liver, indicating that the enhancers are driving extensive differences in tissue expression. Furthermore, studies with Ghrhrlit/lit mice reveal that priorGHexposure is not necessary to establish open chromatin at these domains. Lastly, formaldehyde-associated isolation of regulatory elements of human liver samples confirms open chromatin at IGF1 Promoter 1, but unexpectedly, homologous Stat5-binding motifs are not accessible. We conclude that robust GH-stimulated hepatic Igf1 gene transcription utilizes tissue-specific mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that are established independent of GH signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2080-2092
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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