Pit-1 functions in the development of the GH-secreting somatotrophs, the Prl-secreting lactotrophs, and a population of the TSHß-secreting thyrotrophs. Pit-1 activates GH and Prl gene expression and regulates Prl and TSHß gene expression through binding to sites on these target genes and interacting with a wide number of additional factors. Pit-1 also regulates its own gene expression, although it is not responsible for initial activation of its gene. Naturally occurring murine and human Pit-1 gene mutations have been crucial in elucidating Pit-1 structure-function relationships.
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