P3.81 Friday, Jan. 6 Analysis of Enhancers of Ets1/2 Target Genes In the Basal Chordate Ciona Intestinalis LI, Y*; WOZNICA, A; STAROBINSKA, E; JEMMETT, J; DAVIDSON, B; Univ. of Arizona firstname.lastname@example.org
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling and downstream activation of the transcription factor ETS1/2 specify the heart cell lineage in the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis. Based on our previous work, 144 candidate FGF/ETS1/2 dependent heart genes have been identified from the Ciona genome. The expression of a large subset of these genes have been verified in the heart precursor lineage using in-situ techniques. Among these target genes bioinformatics has led to the identification of candidate heart lineage enhancers. Now, we are conducting experiments to test these predicted enhancers through reporter analysis. Based on our study, the Ets1/2 binding site GGAW and the co-motif ATTA are required for heart lineage enhancer activity. The annotation and analysis of these regulatory regions will help in identifying the precise role of FGF signaling and Ets1/2 activation in the heart gene regulatory network and the way that this network can be shaped by selective forces during evolution.