We have analysed the effect of androgens on the activity of promoters from MMTV, and the rat prostate C3 (1) and mouse secretory protease inhibitor genes. MMTV promoter activity was stimulated by testosterone as well as progesterone and dexamethasone but not by oestradiol. Deletion analysis indicated that the three steroids acted through DNA sequences between nucleotides -201 and -69 upstream of the MMTV cap site. In contrast, the promoters for the C3(1) gene and the protease inhibitor gene were unaffected by testosterone in a number of cell types, including prostate cells, despite the fact that the MMTV promoter was stimulated in such cells.
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