Differential expression of myogenic determination genes in muscle cells: possible autoactivation by the Myf gene products

EMBO J. 1989 Dec 1;8(12):3617-25.


The development of muscle cells involves the action of myogenic determination factors. In this report, we show that human skeletal muscle tissue contains, besides the previously described Myf-5, two additional factors Myf-3 and Myf-4 which represent the human homologues of the rodent proteins MyoD1 and myogenin. The genes encoding Myf-3, Myf-4 and Myf-5 are located on human chromosomes 11, 1, and 12 respectively. Constitutive expression of a single factor is sufficient to convert mouse C3H 10T1/2 fibroblasts to phenotypically normal muscle cells. The myogenic conversion of 10T1/2 fibroblasts results in the activation of the endogenous MyoD1 and Myf-4 (myogenin) genes. This observation suggests that the expression of Myf proteins leads to positive autoregulation of the members of the Myf gene family. Individual myogenic colonies derived from MCA C115 cells (10T1/2 fibroblast transformed by methylcholanthrene) express various levels of endogenous MyoD1 mRNA ranging from nearly zero to high levels. The Myf-5 gene was generally not activated in 10T1/2 derived myogenic cell lines but was expressed in some MCA myoblasts. In primary human muscle cells Myf-3 and Myf-4 mRNA but very little Myf-5 mRNA is expressed. In mouse C2 and P2 muscle cell lines MyoD1 is abundantly synthesized together with myogenin. In contrast, the rat muscle lines L8 and L6 and the mouse BC3H1 cells express primarily myogenin and low levels of Myf-5 but no MyoD1. Myf-4 (myogenin) mRNA is present in all muscle cell lines at the onset of differentiation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Phenotype
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Trans-Activators*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MYF5 protein, human
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Myf5 protein, mouse
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Trans-Activators