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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55479. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055479. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

CRABP2 promotes myoblast differentiation and is modulated by the transcription factors MyoD and Sp1 in C2C12 cells.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Animal Nutrition, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Cellular retinoic acid binding protein 2 (CRABP2), a member of a family of specific carrier proteins for Vitamin A, belongs to a family of small cytosolic lipid binding proteins. Our previous study suggested that CRABP2 was involved in skeletal muscle development; however, the molecular function and regulatory mechanism of CRABP2 in myogenesis remained unclear. In this study, we found that the expression of the CRABP2 gene was upregulated during C2C12 differentiation. An over-expression assay revealed that CRABP2 promotes myogenic transformation by regulating the cell cycle during C2C12 differentiation. The region from -459 to -4 bp was identified as the core promoter and contains a TATA box, a GC box and binding sites for the transcription factors MyoD and Sp1. Over-expression, site-directed mutagenesis and EMSA assays indicated that the transcription factors MyoD and Sp1 regulate CRABP2 expression and promote myoblast differentiation in C2C12 cells.

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