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Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jul;30(14):3430-43. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00302-10. Epub 2010 Apr 19.

KLF3 regulates muscle-specific gene expression and synergizes with serum response factor on KLF binding sites.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Box 357350, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


This study identifies KLF3 as a transcriptional regulator of muscle genes and reveals a novel synergistic interaction between KLF3 and serum response factor (SRF). Using quantitative proteomics, KLF3 was identified as one of several candidate factors that recognize the MPEX control element in the Muscle creatine kinase (MCK) promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that KLF3 is enriched at many muscle gene promoters (MCK, Myosin heavy chain IIa, Six4, Calcium channel receptor alpha-1, and Skeletal alpha-actin), and two KLF3 isoforms are upregulated during muscle differentiation. KLF3 and SRF physically associate and synergize in transactivating the MCK promoter independently of SRF binding to CArG motifs. The zinc finger and repression domains of KLF3 plus the MADS box and transcription activation domain of SRF are implicated in this synergy. Our results provide the first evidence of a role for KLF3 in muscle gene regulation and reveal an alternate mechanism for transcriptional regulation by SRF via its recruitment to KLF binding sites. Since both factors are expressed in all muscle lineages, SRF may regulate many striated- and smooth-muscle genes that lack known SRF control elements, thus further expanding the breadth of the emerging CArGome.

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