The process of differentiation from mesodermal precursor cells to myoblasts has led to the discovery of a variety of tissue-specific factors that regulate muscle gene expression. The myogenic basic helix-loop-helix proteins, including myoD (MIM 159970), myogenin (MIM 159980), MYF5 (MIM 159990), and MRF4 (MIM 159991) are 1 class of identified factors. A second family of DNA binding regulatory proteins is the myocyte-specific enhancer factor-2 (MEF2) family. Each of these proteins binds to the MEF2 target DNA sequence present in the regulatory regions of many, if not all, muscle-specific genes. The MEF2 genes are members of the MADS gene family (named for the yeast mating type-specific transcription factor MCM1, the plant homeotic genes 'agamous' and 'deficiens' and the human serum response factor SRF (MIM 600589)), a family that also includes several homeotic genes and other transcription factors, all of which share a conserved DNA-binding domain.[supplied by OMIM]
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