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Development March 1, 2005; 132 (5): 987-97.

Myocardin is sufficient and necessary for cardiac gene expression in Xenopus.

Myocardin is a cardiac- and smooth muscle-specific cofactor for the ubiquitous transcription factor serum response factor (SRF). Using gain-of-function approaches in the Xenopus embryo, we show that myocardin is sufficient to activate transcription of a wide range of cardiac and smooth muscle differentiation markers in non-muscle cell types. We also demonstrate that, for the myosin light chain 2 gene (MLC2), myocardin cooperates with the zinc-finger transcription factor Gata4 to activate expression. Inhibition of myocardin activity in Xenopus embryos using morpholino knockdown methods results in inhibition of cardiac development and the absence of expression of cardiac differentiation markers and severe disruption of cardiac morphological processes. We conclude that myocardin is an essential component of the regulatory pathway for myocardial differentiation.

PubMed ID: 15673566
Article link: Development
Grant support: HL63926 NHLBI NIH HHS

Genes referenced: actc1 actl6a cnn2 gata4 mef2a mrtfa mrtfb myf5 myf6 myh6 myl2 mylpf myocd myod1 myog nkx2-5 srf tagln tbx5 tbxt tnni3

Morpholinos referenced: myocd MO1 myocd MO2

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