The limb- and heart-specific Tbx5 transcription factor coexpresses with and directly binds to the novel PDZ-LIM domain protein, LMP4. LMP4 is distributed in the cytoplasm associated with the actin cytoskeleton. In the presence of LMP4, Tbx5 shuttles dynamically between the nucleus and cytoplasm and, in a complex with LMP4, localizes to actin filaments. Nuclear and cytoplasmic Tbx5 distribution in developing chicken wings suggests the functional significance of the LMP4-Tbx5 interaction. In primary epicardial cells, we demonstrate that Tbx5 protein subcellular relocalization can be stimulated by external signals that induce cell differentiation. To test whether the relocalization from nuclear to cytoplasmic sites interferes with downstream gene expression, we used limb-specific Fgf10 and heart-specific Anf promoter-luciferase reporters and demonstrate that LMP4 acts as a repressor of Tbx5 activity. These studies reveal a previously unknown mechanism for Tbx transcription factor regulation in vertebrate limb and heart development and provide a better understanding of the molecular basis of hand/heart birth defects associated with Tbx5 mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology