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

Sequential expression of the MAD family of transcriptional repressors during differentiation and development.

Members of the Myc proto-oncogene family encode transcription factors that function in multiple aspects of cell behavior, including proliferation, differentiation, transformation and apoptosis. Recent studies have shown that MYC activities are modulated by a network of nuclear bHLH-Zip proteins. The MAX protein is at the center of this network in that it associates with MYC as well as with the family of MAD proteins: MAD1, MXI1, MAD3 and MAD4. Whereas MYC-MAX complexes activate transcription, MAD-MAX complexes repress transcription through identical E-box binding sites. MAD proteins therefore act as antagonists of MYC. Here we report the expression patterns of the Mad gene family in the adult and developing mouse. High level of Mad gene expression in the adult is limited to tissues that display constant renewal of differentiated cell populations. In embryos, Mad transcripts are widely distributed with expression peaking during organogenesis at the onset of differentiation. A detailed analysis of their pattern of expression during chrondrocyte and neuronal differentiation in vivo, and during neuronal differentiation of P19 cells in vitro, shows that Mad family genes are sequentially induced. Mad3 transcripts and proteins are detected in proliferating cells prior to differentiation. Mxi1 and Mad4 transcripts are most abundant in cells that have further advanced along the differentiation pathway, whereas Mad1 is primarily expressed late in differentiation. Taken together, our data suggest that the different members of the MAD protein family exert their functions at distinct steps during the transition between proliferation and differentiation.[1]


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