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Gene Review

Mef2  -  Myocyte enhancer factor 2

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: 22.21, BEST:SD04091, CG1429, D-MEF2, D-Mef2, ...
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Disease relevance of Mef2

  • These results support earlier reports that DlEPV is a member of the sub-family Entomopoxvirinae, most likely in Group C, and is the first symbiotic EPV described to date from a parasitic wasp [1].

Psychiatry related information on Mef2

  • Evidence is now accumulating that many of the co-factors (E12, Id, MEF2 and CRP proteins) that regulate MRF activity in mammals are also present in lower vertebrates [2].

High impact information on Mef2

  • Members of the myocyte enhancer binding factor-2 (MEF2) family of MADS (MCM1, agamous, deficiens, and serum response factor) box transcription factors are expressed in the skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle lineages of vertebrate and Drosophila embryos [3].
  • The expression of DmiR-1 is controlled by the Twist and Mef2 transcription factors [4].
  • Twist protein can bind to this E box to activate Mef2 transcription, and ectopic expression of twist results in ectopic activation of the wild-type 175-bp enhancer [5].
  • The myogenic regulatory gene Mef2 is a direct target for transcriptional activation by Twist during Drosophila myogenesis [5].
  • These findings define a novel transcriptional pathway required for skeletal muscle development and identify Twist as an essential and direct regulator of Mef2 expression in the somatic mesoderm [5].

Biological context of Mef2

  • Results from an independent molecular screen for binding factors to a myoblast-specific Mef2 enhancer further demonstrate that Lmd is a direct transcriptional regulator of Mef2 in fusion-competent myoblasts [6].
  • Drosophila MEF2, a transcription factor that is essential for myogenesis [7].
  • We have characterized genetic deficiencies and EMS-induced point mutations that result in complete loss of MEF2 protein in homozygous mutant embryos [7].
  • This fragment contained a MEF2 binding site conserved between D. melanogaster and Drosophila virilis which bound MEF2 protein in embryo nuclear extracts [8].
  • D-mef2 gene expression is first detected during Drosophila embryogenesis within mesodermal precursor cells prior to specification of the somatic and visceral muscle lineages [9].

Anatomical context of Mef2

  • These findings underscore the importance of regulated Lmd protein activity in maintaining proper activation of downstream target genes, such as Mef2, within fusion-competent myoblasts [10].
  • Embryos that lack lmd function show a loss of expression of two key differentiation and fusion genes, Mef2 and sticks-and-stones, in fusion-competent myoblasts and are completely devoid of multinucleate muscle fibers [6].
  • Here we describe a complex enhancer located 5.8 kb upstream of the Drosophila Mef2 gene that controls transcription in cardial cells of the dorsal vessel, a subset of somatic muscle founder cells, and the visceral muscle cells [11].
  • We show herein that the Drosophila MEF2 protein is expressed throughout the mesoderm following gastrulation [7].
  • Histological analysis of these animals revealed a requirement for MEF2 in skeletal muscle patterning, although these animals had strikingly normal amounts of muscle tissue [12].

Associations of Mef2 with chemical compounds


Regulatory relationships of Mef2

  • Dmeso18E expression is regulated by Dmef2, although some expression is Dmef2-independent [14].
  • Here, we show that the bHLH transcription factor Twist directly regulates Mef2 expression in adult somatic muscle precursor cells via a 175-bp enhancer located 2245 bp upstream of the transcriptional start site [5].
  • Furthermore, we showed that these factors and, in addition, Dmef2 are able to ectopically activate rst expression via the previously described rst cis-regulatory modules [15].
  • The muscleblind gene participates in the organization of Z-bands and epidermal attachments of Drosophila muscles and is regulated by Dmef2 [16].
  • Myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2 acts cooperatively with a muscle activator region to regulate Drosophila tropomyosin gene muscle expression [17].

Other interactions of Mef2


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Mef2


  1. A putative DNA helicase and novel oligoribonuclease in the Diachasmimorpha longicaudata entomopoxvirus (DlEPV). Mwaengo, D.M., Lawrence, P.O. Arch. Virol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  2. Regulation and functions of myogenic regulatory factors in lower vertebrates. Rescan, P.Y. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B, Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Requirement of MADS domain transcription factor D-MEF2 for muscle formation in Drosophila. Lilly, B., Zhao, B., Ranganayakulu, G., Paterson, B.M., Schulz, R.A., Olson, E.N. Science (1995) [Pubmed]
  4. Mesodermally expressed Drosophila microRNA-1 is regulated by Twist and is required in muscles during larval growth. Sokol, N.S., Ambros, V. Genes Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. The myogenic regulatory gene Mef2 is a direct target for transcriptional activation by Twist during Drosophila myogenesis. Cripps, R.M., Black, B.L., Zhao, B., Lien, C.L., Schulz, R.A., Olson, E.N. Genes Dev. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Drosophila Lame duck, a novel member of the Gli superfamily, acts as a key regulator of myogenesis by controlling fusion-competent myoblast development. Duan, H., Skeath, J.B., Nguyen, H.T. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. Drosophila MEF2, a transcription factor that is essential for myogenesis. Bour, B.A., O'Brien, M.A., Lockwood, W.L., Goldstein, E.S., Bodmer, R., Taghert, P.H., Abmayr, S.M., Nguyen, H.T. Genes Dev. (1995) [Pubmed]
  8. Drosophila MEF2 is a direct regulator of Actin57B transcription in cardiac, skeletal, and visceral muscle lineages. Kelly, K.K., Meadows, S.M., Cripps, R.M. Mech. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  9. D-MEF2: a MADS box transcription factor expressed in differentiating mesoderm and muscle cell lineages during Drosophila embryogenesis. Lilly, B., Galewsky, S., Firulli, A.B., Schulz, R.A., Olson, E.N. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
  10. Distinct posttranscriptional mechanisms regulate the activity of the Zn finger transcription factor lame duck during Drosophila myogenesis. Duan, H., Nguyen, H.T. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Transcription of the myogenic regulatory gene Mef2 in cardiac, somatic, and visceral muscle cell lineages is regulated by a Tinman-dependent core enhancer. Cripps, R.M., Zhao, B., Olson, E.N. Dev. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  12. Adult myogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster can proceed independently of myocyte enhancer factor-2. Baker, P.W., Tanaka, K.K., Klitgord, N., Cripps, R.M. Genetics (2005) [Pubmed]
  13. A series of mutations in the D-MEF2 transcription factor reveal multiple functions in larval and adult myogenesis in Drosophila. Ranganayakulu, G., Zhao, B., Dokidis, A., Molkentin, J.D., Olson, E.N., Schulz, R.A. Dev. Biol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  14. A novel Drosophila, mef2-regulated muscle gene isolated in a subtractive hybridization-based molecular screen using small amounts of zygotic mutant RNA. Taylor, M.V. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  15. Single-minded, Dmef2, Pointed, and Su(H) act on identified regulatory sequences of the roughest gene in Drosophila melanogaster. Apitz, H., Strünkelnberg, M., de Couet, H.G., Fischbach, K.F. Dev. Genes Evol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. The muscleblind gene participates in the organization of Z-bands and epidermal attachments of Drosophila muscles and is regulated by Dmef2. Artero, R., Prokop, A., Paricio, N., Begemann, G., Pueyo, I., Mlodzik, M., Perez-Alonso, M., Baylies, M.K. Dev. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  17. Myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2 acts cooperatively with a muscle activator region to regulate Drosophila tropomyosin gene muscle expression. Lin, M.H., Nguyen, H.T., Dybala, C., Storti, R.V. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
  18. Combinatorial control of Drosophila mef2 gene expression in cardiac and somatic muscle cell lineages. Gajewski, K., Kim, Y., Choi, C.Y., Schulz, R.A. Dev. Genes Evol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  19. D-mef2: a Drosophila mesoderm-specific MADS box-containing gene with a biphasic expression profile during embryogenesis. Nguyen, H.T., Bodmer, R., Abmayr, S.M., McDermott, J.C., Spoerel, N.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
  20. myoblasts incompetent encodes a zinc finger transcription factor required to specify fusion-competent myoblasts in Drosophila. Ruiz-Gómez, M., Coutts, N., Suster, M.L., Landgraf, M., Bate, M. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  21. A temporal map of transcription factor activity: mef2 directly regulates target genes at all stages of muscle development. Sandmann, T., Jensen, L.J., Jakobsen, J.S., Karzynski, M.M., Eichenlaub, M.P., Bork, P., Furlong, E.E. Dev. Cell (2006) [Pubmed]
  22. RNA interference demonstrates a role for nautilus in the myogenic conversion of Schneider cells by daughterless. Wei, Q., Marchler, G., Edington, K., Karsch-Mizrachi, I., Paterson, B.M. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  23. Developmental regulation of the Drosophila Tropomyosin I (TmI) gene is controlled by a muscle activator enhancer region that contains multiple cis-elements and binding sites for multiple proteins. Lin, S.C., Storti, R.V. Dev. Genet. (1997) [Pubmed]
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