Myogenic regulatory factors (MRF) of the MyoD family regulate the skeletal muscle differentiation program. Non-muscle cells transfected with exogenous MRF either are converted to the myogenic lineage or fail to express the muscle phenotype, depending on the cell type analysed. We report here that MRF-induced myogenic conversion of NIH3T3 cells results in an incomplete reprogramming of these cells. Transfected cells withdrew from the cell cycle and underwent biochemical differentiation but, surprisingly, terminally differentiated myocytes absolutely failed to fuse into multinucleated myotubes. Analysis of muscle regulatory and structural gene expression failed to provide an explanation for the fusion defectiveness. However, myogenic derivatives of NIH3T3 cells were shown to be unable to accumulate the transcripts encoding muscle-specific isoforms of the integrin subunit beta1D and the transcription factor MEF2D1b2, that depend on muscle-specific alternative splicing. Our results suggest that the fusion into myotubes is under a distinct genetic control that might depend, at least partially, on differential splicing.
Myogenic conversion of NIH3T3 cells by exogenous MyoD family members: dissociation of terminal differentiation from myotube formation
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S. Russo, D. Tomatis, G. Collo, G. Tarone, F. Tato; Myogenic conversion of NIH3T3 cells by exogenous MyoD family members: dissociation of terminal differentiation from myotube formation. J Cell Sci 15 March 1998; 111 (6): 691–700. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.111.6.691
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