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Cell. 1987 Dec 24;51(6):987-1000.

Expression of a single transfected cDNA converts fibroblasts to myoblasts.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104.


5-azacytidine treatment of mouse C3H10T1/2 embryonic fibroblasts converts them to myoblasts at a frequency suggesting alteration of one or only a few closely linked regulatory loci. Assuming such loci to be differentially expressed as poly(A)+ RNA in proliferating myoblasts, we prepared proliferating myoblast-specific, subtracted cDNA probes to screen a myocyte cDNA library. Based on a number of criteria, three cDNAs were selected and characterized. We show that expression of one of these cDNAs transfected into C3H10T1/2 fibroblasts, where it is not normally expressed, is sufficient to convert them to stable myoblasts. Myogenesis also occurs, but to a lesser extent, when this cDNA is expressed in a number of other cell lines. The major open reading frame encoded by this cDNA contains a short protein segment similar to a sequence present in the myc protein family.

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  • From MYOD1 to iPS cells. [Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010]
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