The distal human myoD enhancer sequences direct unique muscle-specific patterns of lacZ expression during mouse development.Dev Biol. 1995 Sep; 171(1):27-38.DB
Transgenic mice carrying the bacterial lacZ reporter gene under the control of the regulatory elements of the human myoD gene have been produced. The developmental expression of the myoD reporter transgene in somites, limb buds, visceral arches, and cephalocervical regions was studied in transgenic embryos by beta-gal staining. In somites, the spatiotemporal pattern of transgene expression was different from other muscle-specific regulatory and structural genes and revealed that myoD-expressing cells arise in distinct patterns in somites that are dependent on position along the anterior-posterior (AP) body axis (occipital and cervical vs thoracic and more posterior myotomes). Transgene expression did not follow a strict anterior to posterior sequence of activation and therefore was not strictly correlated with somite developmental age. Moreover, the pattern of transgene expression along the dorsal-ventral myotomal axis was dependent on somite position along the anterior-posterior axis. While myoD expression is first detected after the myotome is well-formed, transgene expression in the dorsal and ventral medial lips of the dermatome suggests a function for myoD in the expansion of the myotome. Whole-mount in situ hybridization confirmed that these unique patterns of transgene expression in somites, as well as expression in limb buds, visceral arches, and other myogenic centers, are concordant with the distribution of endogenous myoD transcripts. These results shed new light on the developmental differences between myotomes at different positions along the AP and DV axis and demonstrate a unique axial pattern of somitic myoD expression, suggesting a specific role of myoD in myotome lineage determination and differentiation.