Integration of embryonic and fetal skeletal myogenic programs at the myosin light chain 1f/3f locus

P S Zammit, A Cohen, M E Buckingham, R G Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The genetic control of skeletal muscle differentiation at the onset of myogenesis in the embryo is relatively well understood compared to the formation of muscle during the fetal period giving rise to the bulk of skeletal muscle fibers at birth. The Mlc1f/3f (Myll) locus encodes two alkali myosin light chains, Mlc 1f and Mlc3f, from two promoters that are differentially regulated during development. The Mlc1f promoter is active in embryonic.. fetal and adult fast skeletal muscle whereas the Mlc3f promoter is upregulated during fetal development and remains on in adult fast skeletal muscle. Two enhancer elements have been identified at the mammalian Mlc1f/3f locus, a 3' element active at all developmental stages and an intronic enhancer activated during fetal development. Here, using transgenesis, we demonstrate that these enhancers act combinatorially to confer the spatial, temporal and quantitative expression profile of the endogenous Mlc3f promoter. Using double reporter transgenes we demonstrate that each enhancer can activate both Mlc1f and Mlc3f promoters in vivo, revealing enhancer sharing rather than exclusive enhancer-promoter interactions. Finally, we demonstrate that the fetal activated enhancer contains critical E-box myogenic regulatory factor binding sites and that enhancer activation is impaired in vivo in the absence of myogenin but not in the absence of innervation. Together our observations provide insights into the regulation of fetal myogenesis and the mechanisms by which temporally distinct genetic programs are integrated at a single locus. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420 - 433
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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