Résumé : We have cloned DNA sequences extending up to 6000 bp upstream from the first exon of the human prolactin (hPRL) gene. 5000 bp of these upstream sequences were fused to a CAT reporter gene and shown to provide tissue-specific transient expression in rat pituitary GH3 cells. Multihormonal response was found in this transient expression assay, leading to significant 2- to 5-fold induction by addition of 8-chlorophenylthio-cyclic AMP, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, epidermal growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, phorbol myristate acetate, a calcium channel agonist (Bay K-8644) and triiodothyronine. A 3-fold inhibition was observed in the presence of the glucocorticoid agonist dexamethasone. The sequence of the hPRL promoter was determined up to coordinate -3470. Computer similarity search between the rat and human sequences showed two highly conserved regions corresponding to the proximal and distal tissue specific enhancers described in both PRL promoters.