Trait-associated sequence variation in the bovine growth hormone receptor 1A promoter does not affect promoter activity in vitro

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SummaryGrowth hormone (GH) plays a central role in growth and metabolism in cattle by binding to growth hormone receptor (GHR) and stimulating production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). Two sequence variations in the promoter transcribing a major GHR mRNA variant, GHR 1A mRNA, have been reported to be associated with quantitative differences in growth rate or blood concentration of IGF1 in cattle. One such variation is in the length of a TG-repeat, being 11 or 16–20; the other variation is in the nucleotide 155 bp upstream from the transcription start site, being G or A. In this study, we determined whether these sequence variations would affect the activity of GHR 1A promoter. We cloned GHR 1A promoters bearing different sequence variations and linked each of them to a reporter gene. Transient transfection analyses revealed that these promoter–reporter constructs did not differ in reporter gene expression. Cotransfection analyses demonstrated that they also did not differ in activation by hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4γ and nuclear receptor subfamily 2 group F member 2, known transcription factors for bovine GHR 1A promoter. These in vitro results, together with a previous observation that neither the nucleotide 155 bp upstream from the transcription start site nor the TG-repeat was part of the GHR 1A promoter region interacting with nuclear proteins from bovine liver, do not support a cause–effect relationship between the reported sequence variations and the associated changes in growth rate or blood IGF1 concentration in cattle.

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