M-twist is an inhibitor of muscle differentiation

Dev Biol. 1994 Oct;165(2):537-44. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1994.1273.


The twist gene encodes a transcription factor containing a conserved basic helix-loop-helix domain. During development, transcription factors of this type are normally associated with the induction of differentiation. Yet the expression pattern of the murine M-twist suggests an inhibitory role during muscle differentiation. Following stable transfection of myogenic mouse cells with an M-twist expression vector, 75% of M-twist-expressing clones were impaired in their ability to differentiate. In contrast, only 15% of control clones were unable to differentiate. Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides restored differentiation capacity in a concentration-dependent manner. Control oligonucleotides had no effect. These experiments show that the mouse twist gene can act as an inhibitor of muscle differentiation and that this inhibition is reversible.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Muscles / embryology*
  • MyoD Protein / genetics
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors*
  • Myogenin / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Twist-Related Protein 1


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Myf5 protein, mouse
  • MyoD Protein
  • Myog protein, mouse
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factors
  • Myogenin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Trans-Activators
  • Twist-Related Protein 1
  • Twist1 protein, mouse