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Dev Biol. 2001 May 15;233(2):425-36.

Pannier is a transcriptional target and partner of Tinman during Drosophila cardiogenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate Program in Genes & Development, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


During Drosophila embryogenesis, the homeobox gene tinman is expressed in the dorsal mesoderm where it functions in the specification of precursor cells of the heart, visceral, and dorsal body wall muscles. The GATA factor gene pannier is similarly expressed in the dorsal-most part of the mesoderm where it is required for the formation of the cardial cell lineage. Despite these overlapping expression and functional properties, potential genetic and molecular interactions between the two genes remain largely unexplored. Here, we show that pannier is a direct transcriptional target of Tinman in the heart-forming region. The resulting coexpression of the two factors allows them to function combinatorially in the regulation of cardiac gene expression, and a physical interaction of the proteins has been demonstrated in cultured cells. We also define functional domains of Tinman and Pannier that are required for their synergistic activation of the D-mef2 differentiation gene in vivo. Together, these results provide important insights into the genetic mechanisms controlling heart formation in the Drosophila model system.

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