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Cell Growth & Differentiation, Vol 8, Issue 1 23-34, Copyright © 1997 by American Association of Cancer Research


ARTICLES

Absence of MEF2 binding to the A/T-rich element in the muscle creatine kinase (MCK) enhancer correlates with lack of early expression of the MCK gene in embryonic mammalian muscle

S Ferrari, S Molinari, R Melchionna, MG Cusella-De Angelis, R Battini, L De Angelis, R Kelly and G Cossu
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Modena, Italy. sferrari@c220.unimo.it

During skeletal muscle development, different types of muscle fibers are generated, which express different combinations of muscle-specific gene products. For example, the muscle creatine kinase gene (MCK) is highly expressed in fetal but not embryonic myotubes. We performed transient transfections of CAT reporter constructs, driven by the MCK promoter with variable lengths of 5'-flanking sequence, into primary cultures of embryonic and fetal muscle cells. Reporter activity was observed in fetal but not embryonic muscle cells. We assayed the ability of nuclear extracts prepared from embryonic and fetal muscle and C2C12 myotubes to bind specific regulatory elements in the MCK enhancer. The profile of DNA/protein complexes resulting from electrophoretic mobility shift assays was qualitatively the same with all extracts used when the oligonucleotide probes represented the MCK-E-box, MHox site, CArG-box, and AP2 site. In contrast, no binding activity to the MEF2 site was observed with embryonic nuclear extract. Interestingly, MEF2 mRNAs and proteins were detected in both fetal and embryonic muscle, with the exception of the MEF2D1b isoform, which is restricted to fetal muscle. Furthermore, we found that protein phosphatase inhibitors included in the preparation of embryonic nuclear extracts or added to the medium of transfected embryonic myotubes can restore MEF2 DNA binding activity, as well as reporter activity driven by the MCK promoter and partial transcriptional activation of the endogenous MCK gene. We propose that phosphorylation of MEF2 regulates its activity and represents an important aspect of the mechanism controlling stage-specific transcription during skeletal myogenesis.


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HOME HELP FEEDBACK SUBSCRIPTIONS ARCHIVE SEARCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1997 by the American Association of Cancer Research.