D-MEF2: A MADS box transcription factor expressed in differentiating mesoderm and muscle cell lineages during Drosophila embryogenesis

Brenda Lilly, Samuel Galewsky, Anthony B. Firulli, Robert A. Schulz, Eric N. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Scopus citations


The myocyte enhancer factor (MEF) 2 family of transcription factors has been implicated in the regulation of muscle transcription in vertebrates. We have cloned a protein from Drosophila, termed D-MEF2, that shares extensive amino acid homology with the MADS (MCM1, Agamous, Deficiens, and serum- response factor) domains of the vertebrate MEF2 proteins. D-mef2 gene expression is first detected during Drosophila embryogenesis within mesodermal precursor cells prior to specification of the somatic and visceral muscle lineages. Expression of D-mef2 is dependent on the mesodermal determinants twist and snail but independent of the homeobox-containing gene tinman, which is required for visceral muscle and heart development. D-mef2 expression precedes that of the MyoD homologue, nautilus, and, in contrast to nautilus, D-mef2 appears to be expressed in all somatic and visceral muscle cell precursors. Its temporal and spatial expression patterns suggest that D- mef2 may play an important role in commitment of mesoderm to myogenic lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5662-5666
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 7 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this