A histone deacetylase 4/myogenin positive feedback loop coordinates denervation-dependent gene induction and suppression

Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Feb;20(4):1120-31. doi: 10.1091/mbc.e08-07-0759. Epub 2008 Dec 24.


Muscle activity contributes to formation of the neuromuscular junction and affects muscle metabolism and contractile properties through regulated gene expression. However, the mechanisms coordinating these diverse activity-regulated processes remain poorly characterized. Recently, it was reported that histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) can mediate denervation-induced myogenin and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene expression. Here, we report that HDAC4 is not only necessary for denervation-dependent induction of genes involved in synaptogenesis (nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase) but also for denervation-dependent suppression of genes involved in glycolysis (muscle-specific enolase and phosphofructokinase). In addition, HDAC4 differentially regulates genes involved in muscle fiber type specification by inducing myosin heavy chain IIA and suppressing myosin heavy chain IIB. Consistent with these regulated gene profiles, HDAC4 is enriched in fast oxidative fibers of innervated tibialis anterior muscle and HDAC4 knockdown enhances glycolysis in cultured myotubes. HDAC4 mediates gene induction indirectly by suppressing the expression of Dach2 and MITR that function as myogenin gene corepressors. In contrast, HDAC4 is directly recruited to myocyte enhancer factor 2 sites within target promoters to mediate gene suppression. Finally, we discovered an HDAC4/myogenin positive feedback loop that coordinates gene induction and repression underlying muscle phenotypic changes after muscle denervation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / enzymology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Feedback, Physiological* / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / drug effects
  • Glycolysis / drug effects
  • Glycolysis / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscle Denervation*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / enzymology
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors / genetics
  • Myogenin / genetics
  • Myogenin / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction / drug effects
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Synapses / drug effects
  • Synapses / enzymology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors
  • Myogenin
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Hdac5 protein, mouse
  • Hdac6 protein, mouse
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Histone Deacetylases