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J Biol Chem. 1994 Apr 8;269(14):10651-9.

Structure and expression of the human slow twitch skeletal muscle troponin I gene.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201.


The contractile protein troponin I is encoded by a multigene family whose members are expressed differentially in various classes of muscle fibers. In vertebrates, the "slow" isoform of troponin I is expressed during early heart and skeletal muscle development but is restricted to slow twitch skeletal muscle in the adult. This diverse expression pattern offers an opportunity to study the regulation of a single gene within different developmental contexts. To initiate such studies, we have cloned the gene encoding the human slow twitch skeletal muscle isoform of troponin I and have identified 5'-flanking sequences required for its expression in skeletal muscle cells. The slow troponin I gene spans 12.5 kilobases and is divided into nine exons. In contrast to many muscle-specific genes, the troponin I promoter does not contain consensus CCAAT or TATA elements. Moreover, the sequence from -9 to +11 resembles an "initiator element" previously shown to direct transcription of some tissue-specific genes lacking TATA boxes (Smale, S. T., and Baltimore, D. (1989) Cell 57, 103-113; Brand, N. J., Petkovich, M., and Chambon, P. (1990) Nucleic Acids Res. 18, 6799-6806; Weis, L., and Reinberg, D. (1992) FASEB J. 6, 3300-3309). A transcriptional fusion construct, comprising 4.2 kilobases of troponin I 5'-flanking DNA linked to the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyl-transferase gene, exhibited cell type-specific and developmentally regulated expression. A muscle-specific enhancer regulated slow troponin I promoter activity.

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