MyoD induces retinoblastoma gene expression during myogenic differentiation

Fabio Martelli, Carlo Cenciarelli, Giuseppe Santarelli, Betty Polikar, Armando Felsani, Maurizia Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In skeletal muscle cells permanent withdrawal from the cell cycle is a prerequisite for terminal differentiation. The muscle-specific transcription factor MyoD can activate downstream muscle structural genes and myogenic conversion in many different cell types. It has been demonstrated that the product of the retinoblastoma susceptibility gene, with its growth-suppressive activity, is involved in the myogenic function of MyoD. The present study characterises the modulation of retinoblastoma (Rb1) mRNA levels during myogenic differentiation of the murine C2 cell line and provides evidence that the muscle-specific regulatory factor MyoD enhances Rb1 gene transcription. We demonstrate that MyoD mediates the transactivation of a CAT construct whose expression is driven by the human Rb1 gene promoter, and that this is not a consequence of direct binding of MyoD to an E-box DNA sequence motif present in the Rb1 promoter sequences. In addition we have tested the capability of several MyoD mutant proteins of inducing the Rb1 promoter CAT construct. Our results indicate that the MyoD function required for induction of Rb1 promoter activity is distinct from its myogenic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3579-3590
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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