Transcriptional regulation of the chicken MLC3f gene

Filemon K Tan, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The expression of the chicken fast skeletal myosin alkali light chain (MLC) 3f is subject to complex patterns of control by developmental and physiologic signals. Regulation over MLC3f gene expression is thought to be exerted primarily at the transcriptional level. The purpose of this dissertation was to identify cis-acting elements on the 5$\sp\prime$ flanking region of chicken MLC3f gene that are important for transcriptional regulation. The results show that the 5$\sp\prime$ flanking region of MLC3f gene contains multiple cis-acting elements. The nucleotide sequence of these elements demonstrates a high degree of conservation between different species and are also found in the 5$\sp\prime$ flanking regions of many muscle protein genes. The first regulatory region is located between $-$185 and $-$150 bp from the transcription start site and contains an AT-rich element. Linker scanner analyses have revealed that this element has a positive effect on transcription of the MLC3f promoter. Furthermore, when linked to a heterologous viral promoter, it can enhance reporter gene expression in a muscle-specific manner, independent of distance or orientation. The second regulatory region is located between $-$96 and $-$64 from the transcription start site. Sequences downstream of $-$96 have the capacity to drive muscle-specific reporter gene expression, although the region between $-$96 and $-$64 has no intrinsic enhancer-like activity. Linker scanner analyses have identified a GC-rich motif that required efficient transcription of the MLC3f promoter. Mutations to this region of DNA results in diminished capacity to drive reporter gene expression and is correlated with disruption of the ability to bind sequence-specific transcription factors. These sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins were detected in both muscle and non-muscle extracts. The results suggest that the mere presence or absence of transcription factors cannot be solely responsible for regulation of MLC3f expression and that tissue-specific expression may arise from complex interactions with muscle-specific, as well as more ubiquitous transcription factors with multiple regulatory elements on the gene.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Tan, Filemon K, "Transcriptional regulation of the chicken MLC3f gene" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9115702.