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Analysis of TFAP2A mutations in Branchio-Oculo-Facial Syndrome indicates functional complexity within the AP-2? DNA-binding domain.


ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the AP-2 transcription factor family has an important regulatory function in human craniofacial development. Notably, mutations in TFAP2A, the gene encoding AP-2?, have been identified in patients with Branchio-Oculo-Facial Syndrome (BOFS). BOFS is an autosomal-dominant trait that commonly presents with facial clefting, eye defects and branchial skin anomalies. Examination of multiple cases has suggested either simple haploinsufficiency or more complex genetic causes for BOFS, especially as the clinical manifestations are variable, with no clear genotype-phenotype correlation. Mutations occur throughout TFAP2A, but mostly within conserved sequences within the DNA contact domain of AP-2?. However, the consequences of the various mutations for AP-2? protein function have not been evaluated. Therefore, it remains unclear if all BOFS mutations result in similar changes to the AP-2? protein or if they each produce specific alterations that underlie the spectrum of phenotypes. Here, we have investigated the molecular consequences of the mutations that localize to the DNA-binding region. We show that although individual mutations have different effects on DNA binding, they all demonstrate significantly reduced transcriptional activities. Moreover, all mutant derivatives have an altered nuclear:cytoplasmic distribution compared with the predominantly nuclear localization of wild-type AP-2? and several can exert a dominant-negative activity on the wild-type AP-2? protein. Overall, our data suggest that the individual TFAP2A BOFS mutations can generate null, hypomorphic or antimorphic alleles and that these differences in activity, combined with a role for AP-2? in epigenetic events, may influence the resultant pathology and the phenotypic variability.

SUBMITTER: Li H 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3723307 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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