Induction of lens differentiation by activation of a bZIP transcription factor, L-Maf

Science. 1998 Apr 3;280(5360):115-8. doi: 10.1126/science.280.5360.115.


After the vertebrate lens is induced from head ectoderm, lens-specific genes are expressed. Transcriptional regulation of the lens-specific alphaA-crystallin gene is controlled by an enhancer element, alphaCE2. A gene encoding an alphaCE2-binding protein, L-maf(lens-specific maf), was isolated. L-maf expression is initiated in the lens placode and is restricted to lens cells. The gene product L-Maf regulates the expression of multiple genes expressed in the lens, and ectopic expression of this transcription factor converts chick embryonic ectodermal cells and cultured cells into lens fibers. Thus, vertebrate lens induction and differentiation can be triggered by the activation of L-Maf.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Crystallins / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Ectoderm
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Eye Proteins / genetics
  • G-Box Binding Factors
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / genetics
  • Lens, Crystalline / cytology*
  • Lens, Crystalline / embryology*
  • Lens, Crystalline / metabolism
  • Maf Transcription Factors
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transfection


  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Crystallins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • G-Box Binding Factors
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • L-MAF protein, Gallus gallus
  • Maf Transcription Factors
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • filensin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF034570