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BMP2 is a morphogen that controls mesenchymal cell differentiation and behavior. For example, BMP2 concentration controls the differentiation of mesenchymal precursors into myocytes, adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts. Sequences within the 3'untranslated region (UTR) of the Bmp2 mRNA mediate a post-transcriptional block of protein synthesis. Interaction of cell and developmental stage-specific trans-regulatory factors with the 3'UTR is a nimble and versatile mechanism for modulating this potent morphogen in different cell types. We show here, that an ultra-conserved sequence in the 3'UTR functions independently of promoter, coding region, and 3'UTR context in primary and immortalized tissue culture cells and in transgenic mice. Our findings indicate that the ultra-conserved sequence is an autonomously functioning post-transcriptional element that may be used to modulate the level of BMP2 and other proteins while retaining tissue specific regulatory elements.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.