Rapid Communication

Human Genetics

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp 1-6

First online:

Transcription factor hierarchy in Waardenburg syndrome: regulation of MITF expression by SOX10 and PAX3

  • S. Brian PotterfAffiliated withGenetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 49 Convent Drive MSC4472, Bethesda, MD 20892-4472, USA
  • , Minao FurumuraAffiliated withLaboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA
  • , Karen J. DunnAffiliated withGenetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 49 Convent Drive MSC4472, Bethesda, MD 20892-4472, USA
  • , Heinz ArnheiterAffiliated withLaboratory of Developmental Neurogenetics, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA
  • , William J. PavanAffiliated withGenetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 49 Convent Drive MSC4472, Bethesda, MD 20892-4472, USA

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract.

Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is associated with neural crest-derived melanocyte deficiency caused by mutations in either one of three transcription factors: MITF, PAX3, and SOX10. However, the hierarchical relationship of these transcription factors is largely unknown. We show that SOX10 is capable of transactivating the MITF promoter 100-fold, and that this transactivation is further stimulated by PAX3. Promoter deletion and mutational analyses indicate that SOX10 can activate MITF expression through binding to a region that is evolutionarily conserved between the mouse and human MITF promoters. A SOX10 mutant that models C-terminal truncations in WS can reduce wild-type SOX10 induction of MITF, suggesting these mutations may act in a dominant-negative fashion. Our data support a model in which the hypopigmentation in WS, of which these factors have been implicated, results from a disruption in function of the central melanocyte transcription factor MITF.