Potentiation of serum response factor activity by a family of myocardin-related transcription factors

Da Zhi Wang, Shijie Li, Dirk Hockemeyer, Lillian Sutherland, Zhigao Wang, Gerhard Schratt, James A. Richardson, Alfred Nordheim, Eric N. Olson

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344 Scopus citations


Myocardin is a SAP (SAF-A/B, Acinus, PIAS) domain transcription factor that associates with serum response factor (SRF) to potently enhance SRF-dependent transcription. Here we describe two myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs), A and B, that also interact with SRF and stimulate its transcriptional activity. Whereas myocardin is expressed specifically in cardiac and smooth muscle cells, MRTF-A and -B are expressed in numerous embryonic and adult tissues. In SRF-deficient embryonic stem cells, myocardin and MRTFs are unable to activate SRF-dependent reporter genes, confirming their dependence on SRF. Myocardin and MRTFs comprise a previously uncharacterized family of SRF cofactors with the potential to modulate SRF target genes in a wide range of tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14855-14860
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Nov 12 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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