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Mol Cells December 31, 2018; 41 (12): 1061-1071.

Ventx1.1 as a Direct Repressor of Early Neural Gene zic3 in Xenopus laevis.

Umair Z , Kumar S , Kim DH , Rafiq K , Kumar V , Kim S , Park JB , Lee JY , Lee U , Kim J .

From Xenopus embryo studies, the BMP4/Smad1-targeted gene circuit is a key signaling pathway for specifying the cell fate between the ectoderm and neuro-ectoderm as well as the ventral and dorsal mesoderm. In this context, several BMP4/Smad1 target transcriptional factors have been identified as repressors of the neuro-ectoderm. However, none of these direct target transcription factors in this pathway, including GATA1b, Msx1 and Ventx1.1 have yet been proven as direct repressors of early neuro-ectodermal gene expression. In order to demonstrate that Ventx1.1 is a direct repressor of neuro-ectoderm genes, a genome-wide Xenopus ChIP-Seq of Ventx1.1 was performed. In this study, we demonstrated that Ventx1.1 bound to the Ventx1.1 response cis-acting element 1 and 2 (VRE1 and VRE2) on the promoter for zic3, which is a key early neuro-ectoderm gene, and this Ventx1.1 binding led to repression of zic3 transcription. Site-directed mutagenesis of VRE1 and VRE2 within zic3 promoter completely abolished the repression caused by Ventx1.1. In addition, we found both the positive and negative regulation of zic3 promoter activity by FoxD5b and Xcad2, respectively, and that these occur through the VREs and via modulation of Ventx1.1 levels. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the BMP4/Smad1 target gene, Ventx1.1, is a direct repressor of neuro-ectodermal gene zic3 during early Xenopus embryogenesis.

PubMed ID: 30590909
PMC ID: PMC6315313
Article link: Mol Cells

Genes referenced: cdx2 foxd4l1.1 krt12.4 mrc1 msx1 ncam1 neurod1 ventx1.1 ventx1.2 zic3

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