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Mech Dev. 2001 Oct;108(1-2):59-69.

Transcriptional regulation of Mesp1 and Mesp2 genes: differential usage of enhancers during development.

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Cellular & Molecular Toxicology Division, National Institute of Health Sciences, 1-18-1 Kamiyohga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 158-8501, Japan.


Mesp1 and Mesp2 encode bHLH-type transcription factors, Mesp1 and Mesp2, respectively. The expression of both genes is observed in the nascent mesoderm, and subsequently in the rostral presomitic mesoderm. To determine the regulatory mechanism for gene expression, we attempted to identify enhancer elements by transient transgenic analysis. At least two enhancers, which are responsible for the expression of the two genes in the early mesoderm (early mesodermal enhancer, EME) and the presomitic mesoderm (PSM enhancer, PSME), and one suppressor, which is responsible for the rostrally restricted expression in the presomitic mesoderm, were identified. Deletion studies of these enhancer elements indicate that either gene may use the same enhancer for early mesoderm development, whereas both genes may utilize separate enhancers to regulate their expression in the presomitic mesoderm.

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