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Dev Cell. 2005 Jul;9(1):39-49.

TIPs are tension-responsive proteins involved in myogenic versus adipogenic differentiation.

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Department of Pathology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Stretch induces lung embryonic mesenchymal cells to follow a myogenic pathway. Using this system we identified a set of stretch-responsive factors, which we referred to as TIPs (tension-induced/inhibited proteins). TIPs displayed signature motifs characteristic of nuclear receptor coregulators and chromatin remodeling enzymes. A genomic BLAST search suggested that the three TIPs identified were isoforms originated by alternative splicing from a single gene. Functional studies revealed that TIP-1 and TIP-3 were involved in the cell's selection of the myogenic or the adipogenic pathway. TIP-1, induced by stretch, promoted myogenesis, while TIP-3, inhibited by stretch, stimulated adipogenesis. The selection involved TIP-mediated chromatin remodeling via a histone acetylation process and depended on TIP-1 and TIP-3 nuclear receptor binding boxes (NRBs). This study, therefore, suggests a new developmental mechanism linking the presence or absence of tension with divergent differentiation pathways.

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