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Mech Dev November 1, 2000; 98 (1-2): 29-36.
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c-Jun (AP-1) activates BMP-4 transcription in Xenopus embryos.

Knöchel S , Schuler-Metz A , Knöchel W .

Zygotic expression of the BMP-4 gene in Xenopus embryos is regulated by an auto-regulatory loop. Since AP-1 is known as a mediator of auto-regulatory loops both in the case of the Drosophila dpp and the mammalian TGF-beta genes, we have analysed the potential of Xenopus c-Jun (AP-1) as a mediator of BMP-4 expression during Xenopus development. RNA injection experiments revealed that both heteromeric c-Fos/c-Jun and homodimeric c-Jun/c-Jun strongly activate BMP-4 transcription, whereas BMP signaling was found to activate the Xenopus c-Jun gene only at a rather low extent. In addition, the lack of zygotic c-Jun transcripts until the end of gastrulation should exclude a role of AP-1 in the activation and the early expression of BMP-4 during gastrulation in vivo. However, at later stages of Xenopus development, we find a spatial overlap of c-Jun and BMP-4 transcripts which suggests that AP-1 might serve as an additional activatory component for the auto-regulation of BMP-4. Promoter/reporter and gel mobility shift assays demonstrate multiple responsive sites for AP-1 in the 5'' flanking region and two in the second intron of the BMP-4 gene. We further demonstrate that AP-1 acts independently of Xvent-2 which has recently been shown to mediate the early expression of BMP-4 in gastrula stage embryos.

PubMed ID: 11044605
Article link: Mech Dev

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: aga bmp4 dspp gaa gcg h4c4 jun

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