Isolation, characterization and transcriptional regulation of Xenopus myod

Jon Burt Scales, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


I have cloned cDNAs corresponding to two distinct genes, Xlmf1 and Xlmf25, which encode skeletal muscle-specific, transcriptional regulatory proteins. These proteins are members of the helix-loop-helix family of DNA binding factors, and are most homologous to MyoD1. These two genes have disparate temporal expression patterns during early embryogenesis; although, both transcripts are present exclusively in skeletal muscle of the adult. Xlmf1 is first detected 7 hours after fertilization, shortly after the midblastula transition. Xlmf25 is detected in maternal stores of mRNA, during early cleavage stages of the embryo and throughout later development. Both Xlmf1 and Xlmf25 transcripts are detected prior to the expression of other, previously characterized, muscle-specific genes. The ability of Xlmf1 and Xlmf25 to convert mouse 10T1/2 fibroblasts to a myogenic phenotype demonstrates their activity as myogenic regulatory factors. Additionally, Xlmf1 and Xlmf25 can directly transactivate a reporter gene linked to the muscle-specific, muscle creatine kinase (MCK) enhancer. The functional properties of Xlmf1 and Xlmf25 proteins were further explored by investigating their interactions with the binding site in the MCK enhancer. Analysis of dissociation rates revealed that Xlmf25-E12 dimers had a two-fold lower avidity for this site than did Xlmf1-E12 dimers. Clones containing genomic sequence of Xlmf1 and Xlmf25 have been isolated. Reporter gene constructs containing a lac-z gene driven by Xlmf1 regulatory sequences were analyzed by embryo injections and transfections into cultured muscle cells. Elements within $-$200 bp of the transcription start site can promote high levels of muscle specific expression. Embryo injections show that 3500 bp of upstream sequence is sufficient to drive somite specific expression. EMSAs and DNAse I footprint analysis has shown the discrete interaction of factors with several cis-elements within 200 bp of the transcription start site. Mutation of several of these elements shows a positive requirement for two CCAAT boxes and two E boxes. It is evident from the work performed with this promoter that Xlmf1 is tightly regulated during muscle cell differentiation. This is not surprising given the fact that its gene product is crucial to the determination of cell fate choices.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Scales, Jon Burt, "Isolation, characterization and transcriptional regulation of Xenopus myod" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9401120.