Myogenin induces the myocyte-specific enhancer binding factor MEF-2 independently of other muscle-specific gene products

Peter Cserjesi, Eric N. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


The myocyte-specific enhancer-binding factor MEF-2 is a nuclear factor that interacts with a conserved element in the muscle creatine kinase and myosin light-chain 1/3 enhancers (L. A. Gossett, D. J. Kelvin, E. A. Sternberg, and E. N. Olson, Mol. Cell. Biol. 9:5022-5033, 1989). We show in this study that MEF-2 is regulated by the myogenic regulatory factor myogenin and that mitogenic signals block this regulatory interaction. Induction of MEF-2 by myogenin occurs in transfected 10T 1/2 cells that have been converted to myoblasts by myogenin, as well as in CV-1 kidney cells that do not activate the myogenic program in response to myogenin. Through mutagenesis of the MEF-2 site, we further defined the binding site requirements for MEF-2 and identified potential MEF-2 sites within numerous muscle-specific regulatory regions. The MEF-2 site was also found to bind a ubiquitous nuclear factor whose binding specificity was similar to but distinct from that of MEF-2. Our results reveal that MEF-2 is controlled, either directly or indirectly, by a myogenin-dependent regulatory pathway and suggest that growth factor signals suppress MEF-2 expression through repression of myogenin expression or activity. The ability of myogenin to induce MEF-2 activity in CV-1 cells, which do not activate downstream genes associated with terminal differentiation, also demonstrates that myogenin retains limited function within cell types that are nonpermissive for myogenesis and suggests that MEF-2 is regulated independently of other muscle-specific genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4854-4862
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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