The Caenorhabditis elegans protein, CeMyoD, is related to the vertebrate myogenic regulatory factors MyoD, myogenin, MRF-4 and Myf-5. Like its vertebrate counterparts, CeMyoD accumulates in the nucleus of striated muscle cells prior to the onset of terminal differentiation. CeMyoD also shares functional similarities with the vertebrate myogenic regulatory factors. Viral LTR driven expression of CeMyoD in mouse 10T1/2 cells can convert this cell line into myoblasts as well as efficiently trans-activate mouse muscle-specific promoters. Furthermore, mouse MyoD expression can activate a CeMyoD-β-galactosidase reporter construct in a 10T1/2 co-transfection assay.