Differential regulation of cranial and cardiac neural crest by Serum Response Factor and its cofactors

Colin J. Dinsmore, Philippe Soriano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Serum response factor (SRF) is an essential transcription factor that influences many cellular processes including cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. SRF directly regulates and is required for immediate early gene (IEG) and actin cytoskeleton-related gene expression. SRF coordinates these competing transcription programs through discrete sets of cofactors, the Ternary Complex Factors (TCFs) and Myocardin Related Transcription Factors (MRTFs). The relative contribution of these two programs to in vivo SRF activity and mutant phenotypes is not fully understood. To study how SRF utilizes its cofactors during development, we generated a knock-in SrfaI allele in mice harboring point mutations that disrupt SRF-MRTF-DNA complex formation but leave SRF-TCF activity unaffected. Homozygous SrfaI/aI mutants die at E10.5 with notable cardiovascular phenotypes, and neural crest conditional mutants succumb at birth to defects of the cardiac outflow tract but display none of the craniofacial phenotypes associated with complete loss of SRF in that lineage. Our studies further support an important role for MRTF mediating SRF function in cardiac neural crest and suggest new mechanisms by which SRF regulates transcription during development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere75106
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Craniofacial development
  • MRTF
  • Neural crest
  • SRF
  • TCF
  • Transcription


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