BAF60 A, B, and Cs of muscle determination and renewal

Pier Lorenzo Puri, Mark Mercola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Developmental biologists have defined many of the diffusible and transcription factors that control muscle differentiation, yet we still have only rudimentary knowledge of the mechanisms that dictate whether a myogenic progenitor cell forms muscle versus alternate lineages, including those that can be pathological in a state of disease or degeneration. Clues about the molecular basis for lineage determination in muscle progenitors are only now emerging from studies of chromatin modifications that avail myogenic genes for transcription, together with analysis of the composition and activities of the chromatin-modifying complexes themselves. Here we review recent progress on muscle determination and explore a unifying theme that environmental cues from the stem or progenitor niche control the selection of specific subunit variants of the switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin-modifying complex, creating a combinatorial code that dictates whether cells adopt myogenic versus nonmyogenic cell fates. A key component of the code appears to be the mutually exclusive usage of the a, b, and c variants of the 60-kD structural subunit BAF60 (BRG1/BRM-associated factor 60), of which BAF60c is essential to activate both skeletal and cardiac muscle programs. Since chromatin remodeling governs myogenic fate, the combinatorial assembly of the SWI/SNF complex might be targeted to develop drugs aimed at the therapeutic reduction of compensatory fibrosis and fatty deposition in chronic muscular disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2673-2683
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Development
Volume26
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Cardiomyocyte
  • Fibrosis
  • Satellite cell
  • Smarcd3
  • TGF β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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