Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11784084
Dev. Biol. 2001 Dec;240(2):574-84
Transcription factors Myf5 and MyoD are critical for myoblast determination. Myogenin is a direct transcriptional target of these factors and its expression is associated with commitment to terminal differentiation. Here, we have used myogenic derivatives of human U20S cells expressing Myf5 or MyoD under control of a tetracycline-sensitive promoter to study expression of endogenous myogenin (myf4). We find that Myf5-mediated induction of myogenin shows striking dependence on cell density. At high cell density, Myf5 is a potent inducer of myogenin expression. At low cell density, Myf5 (unlike MyoD) is a poor inducer of myogenin expression, whilst retaining the capacity to direct expression of other muscle-specific genes. The permissive influence of high cell density on myogenin induction by Myf5 is not a consequence of serum depletion or cell cycle arrest, but is mimicked by a disruption adjacent to the basic region of Myf5 (Myf5/mt) which reduces its DNA binding affinity for E-boxes without compromising its ability to transactivate a reporter gene driven by the myogenin promoter. Coculture of cells expressing wild-type Myf5 and Myf5/mt leads to reduced myogenin induction in Myf5/mt cells. We propose that at low cell density Myf5 inhibits induction of myogenin.