Regulation of skeletal myogenesis by association of the MEF2 transcription factor with class II histone deacetylases

Mol Cell. 2000 Aug;6(2):233-44. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)00025-3.


Skeletal muscle differentiation is controlled by associations between myogenic basic-helix-loop-helix and MEF2 transcription factors. We show that chromatin associated with muscle genes regulated by these transcription factors becomes acetylated during myogenesis and that class II histone deacetylases (HDACs), which interact with MEF2, specifically suppress myoblast differentiation. These HDACs do not interact directly with MyoD, yet they suppress its myogenic activity through association with MEF2. Elevating the level of MyoD can override the repression imposed by HDACs on muscle genes. HDAC-mediated repression of myogenesis also can be overcome by CaM kinase and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling. These findings reveal central roles for HDACs in chromatin remodeling during myogenesis and as intranuclear targets for signaling pathways controlled by IGF and CaM kinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 4
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • MEF2 Transcription Factors
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • MyoD Protein / genetics
  • MyoD Protein / metabolism
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MEF2 Transcription Factors
  • MyoD Protein
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 4
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Camk4 protein, mouse
  • Camk4 protein, rat
  • Histone Deacetylases