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

Vgl-4, a novel member of the vestigial-like family of transcription cofactors, regulates alpha1-adrenergic activation of gene expression in cardiac myocytes.

Cardiac and skeletal muscle genes are regulated by the transcriptional enhancer factor ( TEF-1) family of transcription factors. In skeletal muscle, TEF-1 factors interact with a skeletal muscle-specific cofactor called Vestigial-like 2 ( Vgl-2) that is related to the Drosophila protein Vestigial. Here, we characterize Vgl-4, the only member of the Vestigial-like family expressed in the heart. Unlike other members of the Vgl family that have a single TEF-1 interaction domain called the tondu (TDU) motif, Vgl-4 has two TDU motifs in its carboxyl-terminal domain. Like other Vgl factors, Vgl-4 physically interacts with TEF-1 in an immunoprecipitation assay. Vgl-4 functionally interacts with TEF-1 and also with myocyte enhancer factor 2 in a mammalian two-hybrid assay. Overexpression of Vgl-4 in cardiac myocytes interfered with the basal expression and alpha1-adrenergic receptor-dependent activation of a TEF-1-dependent skeletal alpha-actin promoter. In cardiac myocytes cultured in serum and in serum-free medium, a myc-tagged Vgl-4 protein was located in the nucleus and cytoplasm but was exported from the nucleus when cells were treated with alpha1-adrenergic receptor agonist. A chimeric nuclear-retained Vgl-4 protein inhibited alpha1-adrenergic receptor-dependent activation. In contrast, deletion of the TDU motifs of Vgl-4 prevented Vgl-4 nuclear localization, relieved Vgl-4 interference of basal activity, and enhanced alpha1-adrenergic up-regulation of the skeletal alpha-actin promoter. Nuclear export of Vgl-4 is dependent on the nuclear exportin CRM-1. These results suggest that Vgl-4 modulates the activity of TEF-1 factors and counteracts alpha1-adrenergic activation of gene expression in cardiac myocytes.[1]


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