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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 9;276(10):7575-85. Epub 2000 Nov 28.

Control of cardiac-specific transcription by p300 through myocyte enhancer factor-2D.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami, Florida 33101, USA.


The transcriptional integrator p300 regulates gene expression by interaction with sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins and local remodeling of chromatin. p300 is required for cardiac-specific gene transcription, but the molecular basis of this requirement is unknown. Here we report that the MADS (MCM-1, agamous, deficiens, serum response factor) box transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor-2D (MEF-2D) acts as the principal conduit for cardiac transcriptional activation by p300. p300 activation of the native 2130-base pair human skeletal alpha-actin promoter required a single hybrid MEF-2/GATA-4 DNA motif centered at -1256 base pairs. Maximal expression of the promoter in cultured myocytes and in vivo correlated with binding of both MEF-2 and p300, but not GATA-4, to this AT-rich motif. p300 and MEF-2 were coprecipitated from cardiac nuclear extracts by an oligomer containing this element. p300 was found exclusively in a complex with MEF-2D at this and related sites in other cardiac-restricted promoters. MEF-2D, but not other MEFs, significantly potentiated cardiac-specific transcription by p300. No physical or functional interaction was observed between p300 and other factors implicated in skeletal actin transcription, including GATA-4, TEF-1, or SRF. These results show that, in the intact cell, p300 interactions with its protein targets are highly selective and that MEF-2D is the preferred channel for p300-mediated transcriptional control in the heart.

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