ABSTRACT: Cardiac differentiation involves a cascade of coordinated gene expression that regulates cell proliferation and matrix protein formation in a defined temporal-spatial manner. Zinc finger-containing transcription factors have been implicated as critical regulators of multiple cardiac-expressed genes, and are thought to be important for human heart development and diseases. Here, we have identified and characterized a novel zinc finger gene named ZNF418 from a human embryo heart cDNA library. The gene spans 13.5 kb on chromosome 19q13.43 encompassing six exons, and transcribes a 3.7-kb mRNA that encodes a protein with 676 amino acid residues. The predicted protein contains a KRAB-A box and 17 tandem C2H2 type zinc finger motifs. Northern blot analysis indicates that ZNF418 is expressed in multiple fetal and adult tissues, but is expressed at higher levels in the heart. Reporter gene assays show that ZNF418 is a transcriptional repressor, and the KRAB motif of ZNF418 represents the basal repressive domain. Overexpression of ZNF418 in COS-7 cells inhibits the transcriptional activity of SRE and AP-1 which may be silenced by siRNA. These results suggest that ZNF418 is a member of the zincfinger transcription factor family and may act as a negative regulator in MAPK signaling pathway.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 04/2008; 310(1-2):141-51. · 2.06 Impact Factor