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Dev Dyn. 1997 Jun;209(2):217-26.

Maid: a maternally transcribed novel gene encoding a potential negative regulator of bHLH proteins in the mouse egg and zygote.

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Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500, USA.


We isolated an abundant novel cDNA SSEC-8 from a subtraction cDNA library enriched for maternal transcripts that are still present in the mouse 2 cell stage embryo. This gene is evolutionarily conserved and maps to the distal region of mouse chromosome 2. The deduced polypeptide sequence of the encoded protein contains a conserved helix-loop-helix (HLH) motif without a basic DNA binding domain, suggesting that it functions as a negative regulator of basic (b) HLH transcription factors. Gel mobility shift assays show that in vitro translated protein prevents the E12/MyoD bHLH dimer from binding to DNA. Also, transient overexpression of this protein in C2C12 cells reduced the transcription of a CAT-reporter regulated by an E12/MyoD driven enhancer. The 3'-UTR contains consensus sequences of cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements (CPE's), and the length of its poly (A) tail changes during oocyte maturation, indicating that its expression is controlled by timely activation of translation. This new gene, Maid, models the translational and transcriptional regulation of gene expression during the transition from gamete to embryo.

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