Pax-6 is essential for normal eye development and has been implicated as a 'master gene' for lens formation in embryogenesis. Guinea pig ζ-crystallin, a taxon-specific enzyme crystallin, achieves high expression specifically in lens through use of an alternative promoter. Here we show that Pax-6 binds a site in this promoter, which is essential for lens-specific expression. Lens and lens-derived cells exhibit a tissue-specific pattern of alternative splicing of Pax-6 transcripts and Pax-6 is expressed in adult lenses and cells that support ζ-crystallin expression. These results suggest that ζ- crystallin is a natural target gene for Pax-6 and that this Pax family member has a direct role in the continuing expression of tissue-specific genes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - May 9 1995|
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