In this report we provide four lines of evidence indicating that E12/E47-like proteins interact in vivo with the myogenic HLH proteins MyoD and myogenin. First, cotransfection of MyoD and E47 in COS cells indicates that these factors synergistically enhance transcription of a reporter gene containing an oligomerized MyoD-binding site. Second, mobility-shift assays of muscle cell nuclear extracts, "double shifted" with specific antisera, have identified complexes binding to the MEF1 site that contain either MyoD or myogenin in association with E12/E47-like proteins. Third, association with E47 alters the phosphorylation state of MyoD. Fourth, C3H10T1/2 cells expressing antisense E2A transcripts contain low levels of E2A gene products and display less terminal muscle differentiation when infected with retroviral MyoD or when challenged to differentiate with 5-azacytidine treatment. In addition we demonstrate that MyoD, in conjunction with E12/E47-like proteins, is functioning as a regulatory nodal point for activation of several other downstream muscle regulators.