Genome-wide identification of enhancers in skeletal muscle: the role of MyoD1

Genes Dev. 2012 Dec 15;26(24):2763-79. doi: 10.1101/gad.200113.112.


To identify the compendium of distal regulatory elements that govern myogenic differentiation, we generated chromatin state maps based on histone modifications and recruitment of factors that typify enhancers in myoblasts and myotubes. We found a striking concordance between the locations of these newly defined enhancers, MyoD1-binding events, and noncoding RNA transcripts. These enhancers recruit several sequence-specific transcription factors in a spatially constrained manner around MyoD1-binding sites. Remarkably, MyoD1-null myoblasts show a wholesale loss of recruitment of these factors as well as diminished monomethylation of H3K4 (H3K4me1) and acetylation of H3K27 (H3K27ac) and reduced recruitment of Set7, an H3K4 monomethylase. Surprisingly, we found that H3K4me1, but not H3K27ac, could be restored by re-expression of MyoD1 in MyoD1(-/-) myoblasts, although re-expression of this factor in MyoD1-null myotubes restored both histone modifications. Our studies identified a role for MyoD1 in condition-specific enhancer assembly through recruitment of transcription factors and histone-modifying enzymes that shape muscle differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genome*
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • MyoD Protein / genetics*
  • MyoD Protein / metabolism*


  • MyoD Protein
  • MyoD1 myogenic differentiation protein