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Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Dec;24(23):10151-60.

Jumonji represses atrial natriuretic factor gene expression by inhibiting transcriptional activities of cardiac transcription factors.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1300 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Mice with a homozygous knockout of the jumonji (jmj) gene showed abnormal heart development and defective regulation of cardiac-specific genes, including the atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). ANF is one of the earliest markers of cardiac differentiation and a hallmark for cardiac hypertrophy. Here, we show that JMJ represses ANF gene expression by inhibiting transcriptional activities of Nkx2.5 and GATA4. JMJ represses the Nkx2.5- or GATA4-dependent activation of the reporter genes containing the ANF promoter-enhancer or containing the Nkx2.5 or GATA4-binding consensus sequence. JMJ physically associates with Nkx2.5 and GATA4 in vitro and in vivo as determined by glutathione S-transferase pull-down and immunoprecipitation assays. Using mutational analyses, we mapped the protein-protein interaction domains in JMJ, Nkx2.5, and GATA4. We identified two DNA-binding sites of JMJ in the ANF enhancer by gel mobility shift assays. However, these JMJ-binding sites do not seem to mediate ANF repression by JMJ. Mutational analysis of JMJ indicates that the protein-protein interaction domain of JMJ mediates the repression of ANF gene expression. Therefore, JMJ may play important roles in the down-regulation of ANF gene expression and in heart development.

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