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EMBO J. 1989 Mar;8(3):701-9.

A novel human muscle factor related to but distinct from MyoD1 induces myogenic conversion in 10T1/2 fibroblasts.

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  • 1University of Hamburg Medical School, Department of Toxicology, FRG.


We have isolated the cDNA encoding a novel human myogenic factor, Myf-5, by weak cross-hydridization to the mouse MyoD1 probe. Nucleotide sequence analysis and the identification of the corresponding gene indicate that human Myf-5 is a member of a small gene family which also contains the human homologue to MyoD1. Although structurally related to the mouse factor, the human Myf-5 constitutes a different protein which nevertheless is capable of inducing the myogenic phenotype in embryonic C3H mouse 10T1/2 'fibroblasts'. The existence of more than one MyoD1-like protein in human skeletal muscle is further suggested by the detection of several similar but distinct cDNA clones. The phenotypic conversion of 10T1/2 cells by the human factor is recognized by the capacity of the cells to form multinucleated syncytia and synthesize sarcomeric myosin heavy chains. Moreover, transient expression of Myf-5 in 10T1/2 cells leads to the activation of a co-transfected muscle-specific CAT reporter gene which by itself is transcriptionally silent in the non-muscle cell background. The deduced amino acid sequence of clone Myf-5 reveals a region which is highly similar to myc proteins and the developmental factors from Drosophila encoded by the achaete scute locus and the twist gene. The myc homology region and a preceding cluster of basic amino acids are located in a larger sequence domain with strong similarity to the mouse myogenic factor MyoD1. Two additional short segments with high serine and threonine content are conserved between the two proteins.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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