Regulation of XMyoDa transcription by the binding of XMEF2A to the TATA box

Mee Wa Wong, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


MEF2 is a $\underline{\rm m}$yocyte-specific $\underline{\rm e}$nhancer-binding $\underline{\rm f}$actor that binds a conserved DNA sequence, CTA(A/T)$\sb4$TAG. A MEF2 binding site in the XMyoDa promoter overlaps with the TATA box and is required for muscle specific expression. To examine the potential role of MEF2 in the regulation of MyoD transcription during early development, the appearance of MEF2 binding activity in developing Xenopus embryos was analyzed with the electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Two genes were isolated from a X. Laevis stage 24 cDNA library that encode factors that bind the XMyoDa TFIID/MEF2 site. Both genes are highly homologous to each other, belong to the MADS ($\underline{\rm M}$CM1-$\underline{\rm A}$rg80-agamous-$\underline{\rm d}$eficiens-$\underline{\rm S}$RF) protein family, and most highly related to the mammalian MEF2A gene, hence they are designated as XMEF2A1 and XMEF2A2. Proteins encoded by both cDNAs form specific complexes with the MEF2 binding site and show the same binding specificity as the endogenous MEF2 binding activity. XMEF2A transcripts accumulate preferentially in developing somites after the appearance of XMyoD transcripts. XMEF2 protein begins to accumulate in somites at tailbud stages. Transcriptional activation of XMyoD promoter by XMEF2A required only the MADS box and MEF2-specific domain when XMEF2A is bound at the TATA box. However, a different downstream transactivation domain was required when XMEF2A activates transcription through binding to multiple upstream sites. These results suggest that different activation mechanisms are involved, depending on where the factor is bound. Mutations in several basic amino acid clusters in the MADS box inhibit DNA binding suggesting these amino acids are essential for DNA binding. Mutation of Thr-20 and Ser-36 to the negatively charged amino acid residue, aspartic acid, abolish DNA binding. XMEF2A activity may be regulated by phosphorylation of these amino acids. A dominant negative mutant was made by mutating one of the basic amino acid clusters and deleting the downstream transactivation domain. In vivo roles of MEF2 in the regulation of MyoD transcription were investigated by overexpression of wild type MEF2 and dominant negative mutant of XMEF2A in animal caps and assaying for the effects on the level of expression of MyoD genes. Overexpression of MEF2 activates the transcription of endogenous MyoD gene family while expression of a dominant negative mutant reduces the level of transcription of XMRF4 and myogenin genes. These results suggest that MEF2 is downstream of MyoD and Myf5 and that MEF2 is involved in maintaining and amplifying expression of MyoD and Myf5. MEF2 is upstream of MRF4 and myogenin and plays a role in activating their expression.

Subject Area

Biochemistry|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Wong, Mee Wa, "Regulation of XMyoDa transcription by the binding of XMEF2A to the TATA box" (1995). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9532512.