The myogenic basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors shows similar requirements for SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes during muscle differentiation in culture

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



3T3 Cells; Animals; Cell Cycle; Cell Differentiation; Chromatin; Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone; Cyclins; *DNA-Binding Proteins; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs; Humans; Mice; Muscle Proteins; Muscle, Skeletal; MyoD Protein; Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5; Myogenic Regulatory Factors; Myogenin; *Trans-Activators; Transcription Factors


Cell Biology | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The myogenic basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors, MyoD, Myf5, myogenin, and MRF4, can each activate the muscle differentiation program when ectopically expressed in non-muscle cells. SWI/SNF complexes are ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes. We demonstrated previously that SWI/SNF enzymes promote MyoD-mediated muscle differentiation. To ascertain the requirement for SWI/SNF enzymes in muscle differentiation mediated by different MyoD family members, we examined MyoD, Myf5, MRF4, and myogenin-mediated induction of muscle differentiation in cells expressing dominant negative versions of BRG1 or BRM-based SWI/SNF enzymes. We demonstrated that expression of dominant negative BRG1 or BRM inhibited the induction of muscle-specific gene expression by Myf5 and MRF4; however, myogenin failed to induce measurable quantities of muscle-specific mRNAs, even in cells not expressing dominant negative SWI/SNF. In contrast, all four myogenic regulators induced expression of the cell cycle regulators p21, Rb, and cyclin D3 and promoted cell cycle arrest independently of the SWI/SNF enzymes. We proposed that SWI/SNF enzymes are required for the induction of all muscle-specific gene expression by MyoD, Myf5, and MRF4, whereas induction of the cell cycle regulators, p21, Rb, and cyclin D3 occurred independently of SWI/SNF function.

DOI of Published Version



J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 13;277(37):33818-24. Epub 2002 Jul 8. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry

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PubMed ID