Regulatory Motifs in Making Muscle

Science  14 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5844, pp. 1465k
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5844.1465k

During metazoan development, multiple genes are co-expressed so that interacting gene products can be produced in the same place and time. Brown et al. (p. 1557) examined how genes that function together are coordinately expressed by dissecting cis-regulatory elements in 19 co-regulated Ciona genes that encode components of a muscle multiprotein complex. Assays defined the cis-regulatory elements through mutational analyses, and mutant-construct gene expression in muscle cells was quantified to estimate the activity of each regulatory motif. A comparison between the divergent species C. intestinalis and C. savignyi revealed that motif arrangements differ widely among co-regulated genes within a species but orthologous motifs are evolutionarily conserved.

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