ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-040216-9
Characterization of muscle-regulatory genes, myf5 and myogenin, from striped bass and promoter analysis of muscle-specific expression
Tan, X., Hoang, L., and Du, S.
Myf5 and Myogenin are basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors that belong to the muscle regulatory factor (MRF) gene family, which plays important roles in regulating skeletal muscle development and growth. Members of the MRF family, including Myf5, MyoD, Myogenin, and MRF4 are specifically expressed in skeletal muscle cells. They have the remarkable property of converting a variety of cells into myoblasts and myotubes when ectopically expressed in other cell types. To better understand their role and regulation of expression in fish muscle cells, Myf5 and myogenin genomic genes were isolated from striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Sequence analysis revealed that these 2 genes shared similar structures. They both contained 3 exons and 2 introns, and a highly conserved basic helix-loop-helix domain. Promoter analysis identified several putative E box sites in both Myf5 and myogenin promoters that might confer muscle-specific expression. To determine if the striped bass Myf5 and myogenin promoters could control muscle-specific expression, the Myf5 or myogenin promoter was linked with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene, and their promoter activity was analyzed in zebrafish embryos by transient expression assay. Our data showed that both striped bass Myf5 and myogenin promoters could drive muscle-specific GFP expression in zebrafish. These data demonstrated that a muscle-specific regulatory element or elements were located within the striped bass Myf5 and myogenin promoters, and were conserved between striped bass and zebrafish. Moreover, these data suggested the muscle-specific regulatory element could function across fish species in regulating gene expression.