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The level of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) profoundly influences essential cell behaviors such as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and migration. The spatial and temporal pattern of BMP2 synthesis, particular in diverse embryonic cells, is highly varied and dynamic. We have identified GC-rich sequences within the BMP2 promoter region that strongly repress gene expression. These elements block the activity of a highly conserved, osteoblast enhancer in response to FGF2 treatment. Both positive and negative gene regulatory elements control BMP2 synthesis. Detecting and mapping the repressive motifs is essential because they impede the identification of developmentally regulated enhancers necessary for normal BMP2 patterns and concentration.
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