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Control of Mouse Cardiac Morphogenesis and Myogenesis by Transcription Factor MEF2C

Science  30 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5317, pp. 1404-1407
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5317.1404

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Abstract

Members of the myocyte enhancer factor–2 (MEF2) family of MADS (MCM1, agamous, deficiens, serum response factor)–box transcription factors bind an A-T–rich DNA sequence associated with muscle-specific genes. The murine MEF2C gene is expressed in heart precursor cells before formation of the linear heart tube. In mice homozygous for a null mutation of MEF2C, the heart tube did not undergo looping morphogenesis, the future right ventricle did not form, and a subset of cardiac muscle genes was not expressed. The absence of the right ventricular region of the mutant heart correlated with down-regulation of the dHAND gene, which encodes a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor required for cardiac morphogenesis. Thus, MEF2C is an essential regulator of cardiac myogenesis and right ventricular development.

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