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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) is a downstream target of the homeobox transcription factor Nkx2-5.

The homeobox transcription factor Nkx2-5 and the zinc metalloprotease endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) are essential for cardiac development. Here, we demonstrate for the first time a functional link between Nkx2-5 and ECE-1. In transiently transfected rat H9c2 cardiomyoblasts, the alternative promoters specific for ECE-1a, ECE-1b, and ECE-1c are activated by Nkx2-5 coexpression. Lack of a consensus sequence for Nkx2-5 binding within the ECE-1c promoter and mutational analyses of Nkx2-5 consensus sequences identified in the ECE-1a and ECE-1b promoters, respectively, reveal an indirect mechanism of activation that is supported by gel shift assays. Furthermore, we have evidence of an additional direct activation mechanism of the ECE-1b promoter by Nkx2-5. With the use of RNase protection assay, Northern blot, and real-time PCR, the activating effect of Nkx2-5 on mRNA expression of ECE-1 isoforms was confirmed in the chromatin context of H9c2 and endothelial EA.hy926 cells, respectively, by stable Nkx2-5 overexpression. The interaction presented in this work provides a possible explanation for distinct phenotypic aspects of patients carrying mutations in the Nkx2-5 gene and may also be of significance for the pathophysiology of heart failure.[1]


  1. Endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) is a downstream target of the homeobox transcription factor Nkx2-5. Funke-Kaiser, H., Lemmer, J., Langsdorff, C.V., Thomas, A., Kovacevic, S.D., Strasdat, M., Behrouzi, T., Zollmann, F.S., Paul, M., Orzechowski, H.D. FASEB J. (2003) [Pubmed]
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