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Oncogene. 2006 Aug 28;25(38):5244-9.

pRb: master of differentiation. Coupling irreversible cell cycle withdrawal with induction of muscle-specific transcription.

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Department of Human Pathology and Oncology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.


The protein product of the retinoblastoma (RB) gene is necessary for the completion of the muscle differentiation program and for myogenic basic helix-loop-helix-dependent transcription. In fact, in addition to induction and maintenance of permanent cell cycle withdrawal through negative regulation of E2F-responsive genes involved in proliferation, pRb also plays a positive role in the activation of muscle-specific genes. In pRb-/- myocytes, the expression of late myogenic markers is defective and myoblast fusion into myotubes occurs without irreversible cell cycle exit. This evidence demonstrates only a partial functional redundancy between pRb and its relatives p107 and pRb2/p130, as these pRb-/- multinucleated cells, which display p107 levels higher than normal myotubes, respond to mitogens with cell cycle re-entry and DNA synthesis. At the molecular level, pRb myogenic functions are mediated by cooperation with MyoD, Myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2), High mobility group box protein-1 (HBP1) and histone deacetylase1, affecting chromatin configuration and tissue-specific transcription, and by post-translational modification in response to intracellular signaling cascades.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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