PlOtp (Orthopedia), a homeodomain-containing transcription factor, has been recently characterized as a key regulator of the morphogenesis of the skeletal system in the embryo of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Otp acts as a positive regulator in a subset of oral ectodermal cells which transmit short-range signals to the underlying primary mesenchyme cells where skeletal synthesis is initiated. To shed some light on the molecular mechanisms involved in such a process, we begun a functional analysis of the cis-regulatory sequences of the Otp gene. Congruent with the spatial expression proWle of the endogenous Otp gene, we found that while a DNA region from -494 to +358 is shown to drive in vivo GFP reporter expression in the oral ectoderm, but also in the foregut, a larger region spanning from -2044 to +358 is needed to give Wrmly established tissue speciWcity. Microinjection of PCR-ampliWed DNA constructs, truncated in the 5' regulatory region, and determination of GFP mRNA level in injected embryos allowed the identiWcation of a 5'-flanking fragment of 184 bp in length, essential for expression of the transgene in the oral ectoderm of pluteus stage embryos. Finally, we conducted DNAse I-footprinting assays in nuclear extracts for the 184 bp region and detected two protected sequences. Data bank search indicates that these sites contain consensus binding sites for transcription factors.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Gene Expression Patterns|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology