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J Biomed Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):3-19. doi: 10.7555/JBR.29.20140151. Epub 2014 Dec 25.

Myocardin in biology and disease.

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Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA.


Myocardin (MYOCD) is a potent transcriptional coactivator that functions primarily in cardiac muscle and smooth muscle through direct contacts with serum response factor (SRF) over cis elements known as CArG boxes found near a number of genes encoding for contractile, ion channel, cytoskeletal, and calcium handling proteins. Since its discovery more than 10 years ago, new insights have been obtained regarding the diverse isoforms of MYOCD expressed in cells as well as the regulation of MYOCD expression and activity through transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational processes. Curiously, there are a number of functions associated with MYOCD that appear to be independent of contractile gene expression and the CArG-SRF nucleoprotein complex. Further, perturbations in MYOCD gene expression are associated with an increasing number of diseases including heart failure, cancer, acute vessel disease, and diabetes. This review summarizes the various biological and pathological processes associated with MYOCD and offers perspectives to several challenges and future directions for further study of this formidable transcriptional coactivator.

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