Induction of Lens Differentiation by Activation of a bZIP Transcription Factor, L-Maf

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Science  03 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5360, pp. 115-118
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5360.115

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After the vertebrate lens is induced from head ectoderm, lens-specific genes are expressed. Transcriptional regulation of the lens-specific αA-crystallin gene is controlled by an enhancer element, αCE2. A gene encoding an αCE2-binding protein, L-maf(lens-specific maf), was isolated.L-maf expression is initiated in the lens placode and is restricted to lens cells. The gene product L-Maf regulates the expression of multiple genes expressed in the lens, and ectopic expression of this transcription factor converts chick embryonic ectodermal cells and cultured cells into lens fibers. Thus, vertebrate lens induction and differentiation can be triggered by the activation of L-Maf.

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