Myocardin expression is regulated by Nkx2.5, and its function is required for cardiomyogenesis

Tomomi Ueyama, Hideko Kasahara, Takahiro Ishiwata, Qing Nie, Seigo Izumo
Molecular and Cellular Biology 2003, 23 (24): 9222-32
Nkx2.5 (also known as Csx) is an evolutionarily conserved cardiac transcription factor of the homeobox gene family. Nkx2.5 is required for early heart development, since Nkx2.5-null mice die before completion of cardiac looping. To identify genes regulated by Nkx2.5 in the developing heart, we performed subtractive hybridization by using RNA isolated from wild-type and Nkx2.5-null hearts at embryonic day 8.5. We isolated a mouse cDNA encoding myocardin A, which is an alternative spliced isoform of myocardin and the most abundant isoform in the heart from embryo to adult. The expression of myocardin A and myocardin was markedly downregulated in Nkx2.5-null mouse hearts. Transient-cotransfection analysis showed that Nkx2.5 transactivates the myocardin promoter. Inhibition of myocardin function in the teratocarcinoma cell line P19CL6 prevented differentiation into cardiac myocytes after dimethyl sulfoxide treatment. Myocardin A transactivated the promoter of the atrial natriuretic factor gene through the serum response element, which was augmented by bone morphogenetic protein 2 and transforming growth factor beta-activated kinase 1. These results suggest that myocardin expression is regulated by Nkx2.5 and that its function is required for cardiomyogenesis.

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