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PLoS One. 2010 Dec 17;5(12):e15355. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015355.

Α-syntrophin modulates myogenin expression in differentiating myoblasts.

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  • 1Department of Biological Science, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea.



α-Syntrophin is a scaffolding protein linking signaling proteins to the sarcolemmal dystrophin complex in mature muscle. However, α-syntrophin is also expressed in differentiating myoblasts during the early stages of muscle differentiation. In this study, we examined the relationship between the expression of α-syntrophin and myogenin, a key muscle regulatory factor.


The absence of α-syntrophin leads to reduced and delayed myogenin expression. This conclusion is based on experiments using muscle cells isolated from α-syntrophin null mice, muscle regeneration studies in α-syntrophin null mice, experiments in Sol8 cells (a cell line that expresses only low levels of α-syntrophin) and siRNA studies in differentiating C2 cells. In primary cultured myocytes isolated from α-syntrophin null mice, the level of myogenin was less than 50% that from wild type myocytes (p<0.005) 40 h after differentiation induction. In regenerating muscle, the expression of myogenin in the α-syntrophin null muscle was reduced to approximately 25% that of wild type muscle (p<0.005). Conversely, myogenin expression is enhanced in primary cultures of myoblasts isolated from a transgenic mouse over-expressing α-syntrophin and in Sol8 cells transfected with a vector to over-express α-syntrophin. Moreover, we find that myogenin mRNA is reduced in the absence of α-syntrophin and increased by α-syntrophin over-expression. Immunofluorescence microscopy shows that α-syntrophin is localized to the nuclei of differentiating myoblasts. Finally, immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that α-syntrophin associates with Mixed-Lineage Leukemia 5, a regulator of myogenin expression.


We conclude that α-syntrophin plays an important role in regulating myogenesis by modulating myogenin expression.

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