Expression of a single transfected cDNA converts fibroblasts to myoblasts

Cell. 1987 Dec 24;51(6):987-1000. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(87)90585-x.


5-azacytidine treatment of mouse C3H10T1/2 embryonic fibroblasts converts them to myoblasts at a frequency suggesting alteration of one or only a few closely linked regulatory loci. Assuming such loci to be differentially expressed as poly(A)+ RNA in proliferating myoblasts, we prepared proliferating myoblast-specific, subtracted cDNA probes to screen a myocyte cDNA library. Based on a number of criteria, three cDNAs were selected and characterized. We show that expression of one of these cDNAs transfected into C3H10T1/2 fibroblasts, where it is not normally expressed, is sufficient to convert them to stable myoblasts. Myogenesis also occurs, but to a lesser extent, when this cDNA is expressed in a number of other cell lines. The major open reading frame encoded by this cDNA contains a short protein segment similar to a sequence present in the myc protein family.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Genes*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Muscles / cytology*
  • Transfection*


  • Muscle Proteins
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M18779