Binding of TFIID and MEF2 to the TATA element activates transcription of the Xenopus MyoDa promoter

Debbie Leibham, Mee Wa Wong, Tse Chang Cheng, Stephanie Schroeder, P. Anthony Weil, Eric N. Olson, Michael Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Members of the MyoD family of helix-loop-helix proteins control expression of the muscle phenotype by regulating the activity of subordinate genes. To investigate processes that control the expression of myogenic factors and regulate the establishment and maintenance of the skeletal muscle phenotype, we have analyzed sequences necessary for transcription of the maternally expressed Xenopus MyoD (XMyoD) gene. A 3.5-kb DNA fragment containing the XMyoDa promoter was expressed in a somite-specific manner in injected frog embryos. The XMyoDa promoter was active in oocytes and cultured muscle cells but not in fibroblasts or nonmuscle cell lines. A 58-bp fragment containing the transcription initiation site, a GC-rich region, and overlapping binding sites for the general transcription factor TFIID and the muscle-specific factor MEF2 was sufficient for muscle-specific transcription. Transcription of the minimal XMyoDa promoter in nonmuscle cells was activated by expression of Xenopus MEF2 (XMEF2) and required binding of both MEF2 and TFIID to the TATA motif. These results demonstrate that the XMyoDa TATA motif is a target for a cell-type-specific regulatory factor and suggests that MEF2 stabilizes and amplifies XMyoDa transcription in mesodermal cells committed to the muscle phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-699
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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