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Transcriptional regulation of ZicL in the Ciona intestinalis embryo

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We identified 5′ upstream enhancers of two Ci-ZicL genes and characterized one of them in detail. Although the genes are tandemly repeated in the genome, the transcription of each seemed to be individually regulated. The 259-bp 5′ flanking sequence contained essential elements for driving a correct spatiotemporal expression. This enhancer can be divided into two distinct modules. The A module was located between nucleotide positions −259 and −205 upstream of the putative transcription start site, and was necessary for activation in A6.2 and A6.4 blastomeres at the 32-cell stage. The BM module lay between nucleotide positions −205 and −89 and was responsible for activation in B6.2 and B6.4 blastomeres at the 32-cell stage and in A-line presumptive notochord, nerve cord, and muscle lineage cells at later stages. Two putative Fox-binding sites, one located within and the other downstream of the BM module, were necessary for the latter activity. Mutation at a potential Ets-binding site, located downstream of the BM module, caused ectopic activation of the reporter gene in a-line presumptive ectoderm cells. This suggests that repression in the a-line blastomeres is necessary for correct transcriptional control of the Ci-ZicL gene.

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We would like to thank Z. Imoto at Usa Marine Biological Institute of Kochi University for collecting animals, and the staff of Usa Marine Biological Institute for their hospitality. We are grateful to T. Nishikata at Konan University, N. Satoh and Y. Satou at Kyoto University, and H. Takahashi at the National Institute for Basic Biology for providing the animals. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas ‘Genome Science’ from MEXT Japan and Asahi Glass Foundation to S.F.A.S. was supported by the Japan Science Society.

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Correspondence to Shigeki Fujiwara.

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Communicated by N. Satoh

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Anno, C., Satou, A. & Fujiwara, S. Transcriptional regulation of ZicL in the Ciona intestinalis embryo. Dev Genes Evol 216, 597–605 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00427-006-0080-9

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  • Ascidian
  • Zic
  • Fox
  • Transcriptional regulation