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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2004 Aug;287(2):C484-93. Epub 2004 Apr 14.

In vivo expression patterns of MyoD, p21, and Rb proteins in myonuclei and satellite cells of denervated rat skeletal muscle.

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Graduate School of Sport and Exercise Science, Osaka University of Health and Sport Science, Asashiro-dai 1-1, Kumatori-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka 590-0496, Japan.


MyoD, a myogenic regulatory factor, is rapidly expressed in adult skeletal muscles in response to denervation. However, the function(s) of MyoD expressed in denervated muscle has not been adequately elucidated. In vitro, it directly transactivates cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 (p21) and retinoblastoma protein (Rb), a downstream target of p21. These factors then act to regulate cell cycle withdrawal and antiapoptotic cell death. Using immunohistochemical approaches, we characterized cell types expressing MyoD, p21, and Rb and the relationship among these factors in the myonucleus of denervated muscles. In addition, we quantitatively examined the time course changes and expression patterns among distinct myofiber types of MyoD, p21, and Rb during denervation. Denervation induced MyoD expression in myonuclei and satellite cell nuclei, whereas p21 and Rb were found only in myonuclei. Furthermore, coexpression of MyoD, p21, and Rb was induced in the myonucleus, and quantitative analysis of these factors determined that there was no difference among the three myofiber types. These observations suggest that MyoD may function in myonuclei in response to denervation to protect against denervation-induced apoptosis via perhaps the activation of p21 and Rb, and function of MyoD expressed in satellite cell nuclei may be negatively regulated. The present study provides a molecular basis to further understand the function of MyoD expressed in the myonuclei and satellite cell nuclei of denervated skeletal muscle.

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