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J Biol Chem. 1992 Aug 25;267(24):16957-67.

A possible regulatory role for conserved promoter motifs in an adult-specific muscle myosin gene from mouse.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France.


The mouse gene encoding a myosin heavy chain (MHC) protein expressed in type IIB fibers of adult skeletal muscle has been cloned and its promoter isolated. A number of DNA sequence motifs are found within the first 2.5 kilobases of the promoter which are similar to motifs present in the promoters of other muscle-specific genes. One sequence located at approximately -940 base pairs corresponds to the motif called MEF1 which has been shown in other muscle genes to bind the myogenic regulatory factors of which MyoD is one example. The MEF1 site of this adult IIB MHC promoter does indeed bind MyoD although this factor is normally thought to be involved in early muscle cell differentiation. The IIB MHC promoter also has several motifs located in the first 200 base pairs which are strikingly conserved between this mouse gene and several chicken skeletal MHC genes. Of these evolutionarily conserved sequences, two motifs rich in A and T residues appear to be major contributors to the muscle-specific transcriptional activity of the mouse IIB MHC promoter when transfected into quail myogenic and non-myogenic cells. These observations suggest an important functional role for these AT-rich sequence motifs in the regulation of genes of the MHC family.

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