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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 10, 525-536, July 1999
© 1999 American Association for Cancer Research

Expression of the Microphthalmia-associated Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factor Miin Avian Neuroretina Cells Induces aPigmented Phenotype1

Nathalie Planque, Nathalie Turque2, Karin Opdecamp3, Manuella Bailly, Patrick Martin and Simon Saule4

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique EP 560, Institut Pasteur de Lille, 59019 Lille cedex, France

The microphthalmia gene (mi) appears to be required for pigment cell development, based on its mutation in mi mice. The mi gene encodes a basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor (Mi) with tissue-restricted expression. To investigate the role of mi in cell proliferation and pigmentation, we transfected neuroretina (NR) cells with a recombinant virus expressing the murine mi cDNA. The virus induced the proliferation of chicken NR cells in response to fibroblast growth factor 2, which enabled them to form colonies in soft agar. In contrast to control cultures, transfected chicken NR cells or quail NR cells became rapidly pigmented and strongly expressed the QNR-71 mRNA encoding a melanosomal protein. These results demonstrate that Mi not only acts as pigmentation inducer but is also able to modulate the response of cells to growth factors.




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Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1999 by the American Association of Cancer Research.