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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 580908, 12 pages
Research Article

Regulation of the Human Ghrelin Promoter Activity by Transcription Factors, NF-κB and Nkx2.2

Molecular Genetics, Institute of Life Science, Kurume University, Kurume, Fukuoka 839-0864, Japan

Received 20 November 2014; Accepted 24 December 2014

Academic Editor: Constantinos Pantos

Copyright © 2015 Yuki Shiimura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To examine the gene expression of ghrelin, a growth hormone releasing and appetite stimulating hormone from stomach, we constructed human ghrelin promoter-reporter vectors and analyzed the promoter activity. The ghrelin promoter activity was high when cultured cells that express ghrelin mRNA endogenously like TT or ECC10 cells were used, indicating that these cells contain factors necessary for full expression of the human ghrelin gene. The human ghrelin promoter contains both positive and negative regulatory regions. A transient decrease of the promoter activity was found when the reporter vector with the −1600 fragment of the human ghrelin promoter was transfected into cultured cells. We then examined the effect of several transcription factors on the ghrelin promoter activity and found that NF-κB suppressed and that Nkx2.2, a homeodomain-containing transcription factor that is important for ghrelin cell development in pancreas, activates the promoter activity. These transcription factors may be possible targets for the control of ghrelin gene expression.