Summary: NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY VOL 18 FEBRUARY 2000 http://biotech.nature.com 181
Analysis of vertebrate SCL loci identifies
Berthold Göttgens1, Linda M. Barton1, James G.R. Gilbert1, Anthony J. Bench1, Maria-José Sanchez1,
Sabine Bahn2, Shailesh Mistry3, Darren Grafham3, Amanda McMurray3, Mark Vaudin3, Enrique Amaya4,
David R. Bentley3, and Anthony R. Green1*
1University of Cambridge, Department of Haematology, MRC Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK. 2Department of Psychiatry, Addenbrooke's Hospital,
Cambridge, UK CB2 2QQ. 3The Sanger Centre, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK CB10 ISA. 4Wellcome/CRC Institute for Developmental
Biology and Cancer Research, Cambridge, UK CB2 1QR. *Corresponding author (email@example.com).
Received 2 August 1999; accepted 14 December 1999
The SCL gene encodes a highly conserved bHLH transcription factor with a pivotal role in hemopoiesis
and vasculogenesis. We have sequenced and analyzed 320 kb of genomic DNA composing the SCL loci from
human, mouse, and chicken. Long-range sequence comparisons demonstrated multiple peaks of
human/mouse homology, a subset of which corresponded precisely with known SCL enhancers.
Comparisons between mammalian and chicken sequences identified some, but not all, SCL enhancers.
Moreover, one peak of human/mouse homology (+23 region), which did not correspond to a known enhancer,
showed significant homology to an analogous region of the chicken SCL locus. A transgenic Xenopus
reporter assay was established and demonstrated that the +23 region contained a new neural enhancer. This
combination of long-range comparative sequence analysis with a high-throughput transgenic bioassay pro-