Regulating a master regulator: Establishing tissue-specific gene expression in skeletal muscle

 Abstract

MyoD is a master regulator of the skeletal muscle gene expression program. ChIP-Seq analysis has recently revealed that MyoD binds to a large number of genomic loci in differentiating myoblasts, yet only activates transcription at a subset of these genes. Here we discuss recent data suggesting that the ability of MyoD to mediate gene expression is regulated through the function of Polycomb and Trithorax Group proteins. Based on studies of the muscle-specific myog gene, we propose a model where the transcriptional activators Mef2d and Six4 mediate recruitment of Trithorax Group proteins Ash2L/MLL2 and UTX to MyoD-bound promoters to overcome the Polycomb-mediated repression of muscle genes. Modulation of the interaction between Ash2L/MLL2 and Mef2d by the p38α MAPK signaling pathway in turns provides fine-tuning of the muscle-specific gene expression program. Thus Mef2d, Six4, and p38α MAPK function coordinately as regulators of a master regulator to mediate expression of MyoD target genes.

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691 - 695
doi
10.4161/epi.5.8.13045
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Regulating a master regulator: Establishing tissue-specific gene expression in skeletal muscle