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Development. 2005 Jun;132(12):2685-95.

The circuitry of a master switch: Myod and the regulation of skeletal muscle gene transcription.

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Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


The expression of Myod is sufficient to convert a fibroblast to a skeletal muscle cell, and, as such, is a model system in developmental biology for studying how a single initiating event can orchestrate a highly complex and predictable response. Recent findings indicate that Myod functions in an instructive chromatin context and directly regulates genes that are expressed throughout the myogenic program, achieving promoter-specific regulation of its own binding and activity through a feed-forward mechanism. These studies are beginning to merge our understanding of how lineage-specific information is encoded in chromatin with how master regulatory factors drive programs of cell differentiation.

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