Transcription regulation and its control by signal transduction pathways plays a major role in control of cell growth, differentiation and development. Despite some progress in recent years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of melanocytes, pigment cells responsible for skin, hair and eye colour, are poorly understood. Recently, a cDNA clone encoding a Brachyuryrelated transcription factor has been isolated from melanocytes. This cDNA appears to correspond to MSF, a transcription factor implicated in the regulation of the
melanocyte-specific TRP-1 promoter. This project therefore proposes to examine the role of MSF in melanocyte development.
the primary aims are :
1. to determine the tissue-distribution of MSF expression in development. 2. To characterize the role of MSF in melanocytespecific transcription and differentiation.
3. To identify the signal transduction pathways regulating MSF function. This work should generate a significant insight into an important developmental system.