Ectopic overexpression of porcine DGAT1 increases intramuscular fat content in mouse skeletal muscle
The muscle creatine kinase (MCK) gene is expressed at high levels only in differentiated skeletal and cardiac muscle. The activity of the cloned enhancer–promoter has previously been shown to be dependent on the Trex element which is specifically bound by a yet unidentified nuclear factor, TrexBF. We have further characterized the function of the Trex site by comparing wild-type and Trex-mutated MCK transgenes in five mouse skeletal muscles: quadriceps, extensor digitorum longus (EDL), soleus, diaphragm, and distal tongue, as well as in heart ventricular muscle. Several types of statistical analysis including analysis of variance (ANOVA) and rank sum tests were used to compare expression between muscle types and between constructs. Upon mutation of the Trex site, median transgene expression levels decreased 3- to 120-fold in the muscles examined, with statistically significant differences in all muscles except the EDL. Expression in the largely slow soleus muscle was more affected than in the EDL, and expression in the distal tongue and diaphragm muscles was affected more than in soleus. Median expression of the transgene in ventricle decreased about 18-fold upon Trex mutation. Transfections into neonatal rat myocardiocytes confirmed the importance of the Trex site for MCK enhancer activity in heart muscle, but the effect is larger in transgenic mice than in cultured cells.