The nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) family of transcription factors is involved in proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis in a stage- and cell-dependent manner. Recent evidence has shown that NF-kappaB activity is necessary for both chicken and mouse limb development. We report here that the NF-kappaB family member c-rel and the homeodomain gene msx-1 have partially overlapping expression patterns in the developing chick limb. In addition, inhibition of NF-kappaB activity resulted in a decrease in msx-1 mRNA expression. Sequence analysis of the msx-1 promoter revealed three potential kappaB-binding sites similar to the interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) kappaB-binding site. These sites bound to c-Rel, as shown by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Furthermore, inhibition of NF-kappaB activity significantly reduced transactivation of the msx-1 promoter in response to FGF-2/-4, known stimulators of msx-1 expression. These results suggest that NF-kappaB mediates the FGF-2/-4 signal regulation of msx-1 gene expression.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.