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

Opposing early and late effects of insulin-like growth factor I on differentiation and the cell cycle regulatory retinoblastoma protein in skeletal myoblasts.

The mechanisms by which insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) can be both mitogenic and differentiation-promoting in skeletal myoblasts are unclear because these two processes are believed to be mutually exclusive in this tissue. The phosphorylation state of the ubiquitous nuclear retinoblastoma protein ( Rb) plays an important role in determining whether myoblasts proliferate or differentiate: Phosphorylated Rb promotes mitogenesis, whereas un- (or hypo-) phosphorylated Rb promotes cell cycle exit and differentiation. We hypothesized that IGFs might affect the fate of myoblasts by regulating the phosphorylation of Rb. Although long-term IGF treatment is known to stimulate differentiation, we find that IGFs act initially to inhibit differentiation and are exclusively mitogenic. These early effects of IGFs are associated with maintenance of Rb phosphorylation typical of proliferating cells; upregulation of the gene expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and cyclin D1, components of a holoenzyme that plays a principal role in mediating Rb phosphorylation; and marked inhibition of the gene expression of myogenin, a member of the MyoD family of skeletal muscle-specific transcription factors that is essential in muscle differentiation. We also find that IGF-induced inhibition of differentiation occurs through a process that is independent of its mitogenic effects. We demonstrate, thus, that IGFs regulate Rb phosphorylation and cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 gene expression; together with their biphasic effects on myogenin expression, these results suggest a mechanism by which IGFs are initially mitogenic and subsequently differentiation-promoting in skeletal muscle.[1]


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