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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of myogenin expression in normal and transformed myogenic cell lines.

The control of myogenin (Myf-4), one of the muscle-specific regulatory proteins, is particularly interesting since its expression appears obligatory in myoblasts at the onset of differentiation. We isolated the human Myf-4 (myogenin) gene and determined promoter elements which direct cell type-specific expression and are subject to transactivation by the muscle transcription factors Myf-5 and MyoD1 in fibroblasts. Extrinsic signals such as serum components and purified growth factors or potential intracellular signals such as cAMP down-regulate transcription of the myogenin gene. Constitutive expression of the catalytic subunit of PKA completely suppresses transactivation of the myogenin promoter by Myf-5 or MyoD1 suggesting that cAMP may act via phosphorylation by PKA. In contrast to normal myogenic cell lines in which differentiation and myogenin expression can be induced by the removal of serum components, retinoic acid (RA) is required for differentiation in the rat rhabdomyosarcoma cell line BA-Han-1C. This model system was utilized to investigate factors which influence the balance between the transformed state and differentiation. Administration of retinoic acid to BA-Han-1C cells leads to the accumulation of myogenin mRNA approximately 48 h after the addition of RA. This late induction requires ongoing protein- and DNA-synthesis suggesting that trans- and cis-acting factors may be involved in the control. The critical involvement of myogenin in the process of terminal muscle differentiation was also demonstrated in the rat L6 muscle cell line which has been blocked for differentiation by the transforming protein E1a of Ad5 adenovirus. In cells which stably express E1a, myogenin expression is completely suppressed while Myf-5 continues to be synthesized normally. However, E1a inhibits the transactivator function of Myf-5, as demonstrated on GAL4-Myf5 chimeric proteins. A possible interpretation of this result is that Myf-5 or factors activated by Myf-5 are required for the expression of myogenin and myogenin itself is necessary for the terminal differentiation of myoblasts.[1]


  1. Regulation of myogenin expression in normal and transformed myogenic cell lines. Arnold, H.H., Braun, T., Bober, E., Buchberger, A., Winter, B., Salminen, A. Symp. Soc. Exp. Biol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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