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Cell. 1987 May 22;49(4):515-26.

Three types of muscle-specific gene expression in fusion-blocked rat skeletal muscle cells: translational control in EGTA-treated cells.


When rat skeletal muscle cells were treated with EGTA, an inhibitor of cell fusion, a battery of muscle-specific mRNAs was synthesized but not translated despite the synthesis of many other proteins. Most of the muscle-specific mRNAs were associated with polysomes in fused myotubes, whereas they were found in postpolysomal fractions in EGTA-treated cells. Therefore, in addition to the well-documented transcriptional and posttranscriptional control of muscle-specific genes, translational control of this specific group of genes, presumably involving a Ca2+-dependent process, is also observed in these fusion-blocked cells. These findings and results obtained with other fusion inhibitors demonstrate that three types of muscle-specific gene expression take place in the fusion-blocked cells depending on the inhibitors used: one, neither muscle-specific mRNAs nor proteins are synthesized; two, the mRNAs are synthesized but not translated; and three, both the mRNAs and the proteins are synthesized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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