Meeting Abstract

P2.65  Thursday, Jan. 5  FGF/Ets Target Genes in Ciona intestinalis Heart Cell Specification JEMMETT, Jessica*; STAROBINSKYA, Ella; WOZNICA, Arielle; DAVIDSON, Brad; University of Arizona, Tucson jjemmett@email.arizona.edu

Activation of the transcription factor Ets1/2 through FGF signaling is known to specify heart cell precursor fate in Ciona intestinalis. In previous research, we identified candidate target genes of Ets1/2 through microarray analysis. Through in situ hybridzation assays we have identified a subset of these candidate genes that are expressed specifically in the heart precursor cells immediately following their specification. To find the enhancers for the regulation of these presumed Ets target genes, we are employing bioinformatics to find conserved areas of DNA in the upstream non-coding DNA between Ciona intestinalis and Ciona savignyi. This analysis will be used to guide ongoing efforts to clone and test predicted enhancer regions using reporter constructs. In depth analysis of identified enhancers will be used to find transcription binding sites for Ets and identify co-transcirption factors presumed to act in concert with Ets to drive heart precursor cell specification.