Transcriptional regulation of the muscle creatine kinase gene and regulated expression in transfected mouse myoblasts.

J. B. Jaynes, J. S. Chamberlain, J. N. Buskin, J. E. Johnson, S. D. Hauschka

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135 Scopus citations


The muscle-specific form of creatine kinase (MCK) is induced in differentiating myoblast cultures, and a dramatic increase in mRNA levels precedes and parallels the increase in MCK protein. To study this induction, the complete MCK gene was cloned and characterized. The transcription unit was shown to span 11 kilobases and to contain seven introns. The splice junctions were identified and shown to conform to the appropriate consensus sequences. Close homology with branchpoint consensuses was found upstream of the 3' splice sites in six of seven cases. Transcriptional regulation of the gene in differentiating myoblast cultures was demonstrated by nuclear run-on experiments; increases in transcription accounted for a major part of the increased mRNA levels. Regulated expression of a transfected MCK gene containing the entire transcription unit with 3.3 kilobases of 5'-flanking sequence was also demonstrated during differentiation of the MM14 mouse myoblast cell line. The MCK 5'-flanking region was sufficient to confer transcriptional regulation to a heterologous structural gene, since chloramphenicol acetyl transferase activity was induced during differentiation of cultures transfected with an MCK-chloramphenicol acetyl transferase fusion construct. Examination of the DNA sequence immediately upstream of the transcription start site revealed a 17-nucleotide element which occurred three times. Comparisons with other muscle-specific genes which are also transcriptionally regulated during myogenesis revealed upstream homologies in the alpha-actin and myosin heavy chain genes, but not in the myosin light-chain genes, with the regions containing these repeats. We suggest that coordinate control of a subset of muscle genes may occur via recognition of these common sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2855-2864
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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