Sea urchin USF: A helix-loop-helix protein active in embryonic ectoderm cells

Mark T. Kozlowski, Lin Gan, Judith M. Venuti, Michèle Sawadogo, William H. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We previously characterized a DNA-binding factor in nuclear extracts of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryos that bound Spec gene promoters, was ectoderm specific, and had properties similar to the vertebrate transcription factor USF. Here we describe a cDNA clone, suUSF, isolated from an S. purpuratus cDNA library, with sequence homology to human USF. Spec gene promoter fragments formed sequence-specific complexes with suUSF, and antibodies against suUSF inhibited binding activity in nuclear extracts. Reaction of USF-site containing probes with filter-bound nuclear proteins demonstrated that suUSF binding activity was enriched in ectoderm cells, and immunoblotting showed a similar ectoderm enrichment. These data demonstrated that suUSF was responsible for the ectoderm-specific activity observed in sea urchin extracts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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