In this report, we describe the isolation, sequence, and initial characterization of the cDNA for the muscle-specific regulatory factor skeletal myogenin. Transfection of myogenin into the mesenchymal cell line C3H10T1/2 produces cells expressing muscle-specific markers. Myogenin is absent in undifferentiated cells, peaks, and then declines following a stimulus to differentiate, and is overexpressed in myoblasts selected with 5-bromodeoxyuridine for the overproduction of factors that regulate the decision to differentiate. High levels of myogenin transcripts are present in the myotomal region of somites at 8.5 days of gestation in the mouse. Although myogenin and MyoD are different genes, they share the myc homology domain. Myogenin and MyoD thus form part of a gene family regulating myogenesis, and together with myd may constitute a set of factors that interact to regulate the determination and differentiation of muscle cells.