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Genes Dev. 1997 Jun 1;11(11):1370-80.

A family of LIM domain-associated cofactors confer transcriptional synergism between LIM and Otx homeodomain proteins.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Eukaryotic Regulatory Biology Program, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla 92093-0648, USA.


The essential roles of LIM homeodomain proteins in cell fate determination during development have been demonstrated in organisms as divergent as Drosophila and higher mammals. We have isolated murine cDNAs encoding two highly homologous proteins that specifically interact with the LIM domains of P-Lim/Lhx3 and several other LIM homeodomain factors. Transcripts encoding these factors can be detected as early as mouse E8.5, with maximal expression observed in regions of the embryo in which the LIM homeodomain factors P-Lim/Lhx3, Isl-1, and LH-2 are selectively expressed. These proteins can potentiate transactivation by P-Lim/Lhx-3 and are required for a synergistic activation of the glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit promoter by P-Lim/Lhx3 and a pituitary Otx class homeodomain transcription factor, with which they also specifically associate. Our results link LIM homeodomain proteins and members of the Otx class of transcription factors in gene activation events during embryogenesis via the actions of specific cofactors.

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