Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf) regulates the differentiation of melanocytes, optic cup-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and some types of bone marrow-derived cells. Mitf consists of at least five isoforms with different N-termini, each of which is encoded by a separate exon 1. Here we identified a novel isoform, termed mouse Mitf-D/human MITF-D, that is expressed in RPE, macrophages, and osteoclasts affected by the Mitf mutations, but not expressed in other Mitf target cells, including melanocyte-lineage cells and natural killer cells. The initiation Met of MITF-D is located in the downstream domain (B1b domain) that is shared by other MITF isoforms. The 5′-untranslated region of MITF-D mRNA is encoded by the newly identified first exon of the MITF gene, termed exon 1D, which is located 3 kb upstream of the exon encoding the B1b domain. Thus, the MITF gene generates multiple isoforms with different expression patterns by using the alternative promoters in a cell-dependent manner, thereby providing the molecular basis for the phenotypic variability seen in the MITF/Mitf mutants.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Structure and Expression|
|Publication status||Published - 2002 Feb 20|
- Cell differentiation
- Retinal pigment epithelium
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology