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Genes Dev. 2012 Dec 15;26(24):2673-83. doi: 10.1101/gad.207415.112. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

BAF60 A, B, and Cs of muscle determination and renewal.

Author information

  • 1Muscle Development and Regeneration Program, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA. lpuri@sanfordburnham.org

Abstract

Developmental biologists have defined many of the diffusible and transcription factors that control muscle differentiation, yet we still have only rudimentary knowledge of the mechanisms that dictate whether a myogenic progenitor cell forms muscle versus alternate lineages, including those that can be pathological in a state of disease or degeneration. Clues about the molecular basis for lineage determination in muscle progenitors are only now emerging from studies of chromatin modifications that avail myogenic genes for transcription, together with analysis of the composition and activities of the chromatin-modifying complexes themselves. Here we review recent progress on muscle determination and explore a unifying theme that environmental cues from the stem or progenitor niche control the selection of specific subunit variants of the switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin-modifying complex, creating a combinatorial code that dictates whether cells adopt myogenic versus nonmyogenic cell fates. A key component of the code appears to be the mutually exclusive usage of the a, b, and c variants of the 60-kD structural subunit BAF60 (BRG1/BRM-associated factor 60), of which BAF60c is essential to activate both skeletal and cardiac muscle programs. Since chromatin remodeling governs myogenic fate, the combinatorial assembly of the SWI/SNF complex might be targeted to develop drugs aimed at the therapeutic reduction of compensatory fibrosis and fatty deposition in chronic muscular disorders.

PMID:
23222103
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3533072
Free PMC Article
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