MyoD prevents cyclin A/cdk2 containing E2F complexes formation in terminally differentiated myocytes

Pier Lorenzo Puri, Clara Balsano, Vito Lelio Burgio, Paolo Chirillo, Gioacchino Natoli, Letizia Ricci, Elisabetta Mattei, Adolf Graessmann, Massimo Levrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Withdrawal from the cell cycle of differentiating myocytes is regulated by the myogenic basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein MyoD and the pocket proteins pRb, p107 and pRb2/p130. Downstream effecters of 'pocket' proteins are the components of the E2F family of transcription factors, which regulate the G1/S-phase transition. We analysed by EMSA the composition of E2F complexes in cycling, quiescent undifferentiated and differentiated C2C12 skeletal muscle cells. An E2F complex containing mainly E2F4 and pRb2/p130 (E2F-G0/G1 complex) appears when DNA synthesis arrests, replacing the cyclin A/cdk2 containing E2F complex of proliferating myoblasts (E2F-G1/S complex). Serum stimulation reinduces DNA synthesis and the re-appearance of E2F-G1/S complexes in quiescent myoblasts but not in differentiated C2C12 myotubes. In differentiating C2C12 cells, E2F complexes switch and DNA synthesis in response to serum are prevented when MyoD DNA binding activity and the cdks inhibitor MyoD downstream effector p21 are induced. Thus, during myogenic differentiation, formation of E2F4 and pRb2/p130 containing complexes is an early event, but not enough on its own to prevent the reactivation of DNA synthesis. Using a subclone of C3H10T1/2 mouse fibroblasts stably expressing Estrogen Receptor-MyoD (ER-MyoD) chimerae, we found that estrogen directed MyoD activation prevents the reassociation of cyclinA/cdk2 to the E2F4 containing complex following serum stimulation and this correlates with suppression of E2F activity and the inability of cells to re-enter the cell cycle. Our data indicate that, in differentiating myocytes, one mechanism through which MyoD induces permanent cell cycle arrest involves p21 upregulation and suppression of the proliferation-associated cdks-containing E2F complexes formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1184
Number of pages14
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Cell cycle
  • E2F
  • MyoD
  • p21
  • pRb2/p130

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'MyoD prevents cyclin A/cdk2 containing E2F complexes formation in terminally differentiated myocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this