Helix-loop-helix transcription factors E12 and E47 are not essential for skeletal or cardiac myogenesis, erythropoiesis, chondrogenesis, or neurogenesis.
E12 and E47 are two non-tissue-specific helix-loop-helix (HLH) transcription factors encoded by the E2A gene. Previous studies suggested that they are involved in regulation of differentiation in many tissue types including muscle, blood, and nerve through direct heterodimer interactions with tissue-specific HLH proteins. To gain further genetic insight into the functions of E12 and E47 during cell differentiation, we mutated both copies of the E2A gene in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and then tested the effect on differentiation in vitro. We find that the ES cells lacking functional E12 and E47 are capable of differentiating into both skeletal and cardiac muscle, erythrocytes, neurons, and cartilage that the same extent as wild-type cells. These results indicate that the E2A gene is not essential for differentiation of these cell types and suggest that redundant genes may control these developmental pathways.
Zhuang, Y; Kim, CG; Bartelmez, S; Cheng, P; Groudine, M; Weintraub, H
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