Muscle regulatory factor MRF4 activates differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma RD cells through a positive-acting C-terminal protein domain.
ABSTRACT Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) has deregulated proliferation and is blocked in the differentiation program despite Myf-5, MyoD and myogenin expression. Here we show that ectopic expression of MRF4, which is not subject to an autoregulatory pathway but regulated by the other MRFs protein family, induces growth arrest and terminal differentiation in RD cells. Deletion mapping identified a positive-acting C-terminal domain in MRF4 as the mediator of transcriptional activity, revealing a conserved motif with helix III in MyoD previously found to initiate expression of endogenous skeletal muscle genes. By using chimeric MyoD/MRF4 proteins, we observe that the C-terminal motif of MRF4 rescues MyoD activity in RD cells. Moreover, comparative induction of muscle-specific genes following activation of MyoD, through the expression of a constitutively activated MKK6 either in the absence or presence of MRF4, shows that MyoD and MRF4 can differently regulate muscle genes expression. Together, these results demonstrate that the MRF4 C-terminus functions as specification as well as activation domain in tumor cells. They provide a basis to identify gene products necessary for b-HLH-mediated differentiation versus tumor progression.
Article: Inhibition of atrogin-1/MAFbx mediated MyoD proteolysis prevents skeletal muscle atrophy in vivo.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin ligase Atrogin1/Muscle Atrophy F-box (MAFbx) up-regulation is required for skeletal muscle atrophy but substrates and function during the atrophic process are poorly known. The transcription factor MyoD controls myogenic stem cell function and differentiation, and seems necessary to maintain the differentiated phenotype of adult fast skeletal muscle fibres. We previously showed that MAFbx mediates MyoD proteolysis in vitro. Here we present evidence that MAFbx targets MyoD for degradation in several models of skeletal muscle atrophy. In cultured myotubes undergoing atrophy, MAFbx expression increases, leading to a cytoplasmic-nuclear shuttling of MAFbx and a selective suppression of MyoD. Conversely, transfection of myotubes with sh-RNA-mediated MAFbx gene silencing (shRNAi) inhibited MyoD proteolysis linked to atrophy. Furthermore, overexpression of a mutant MyoDK133R lacking MAFbx-mediated ubiquitination prevents atrophy of mouse primary myotubes and skeletal muscle fibres in vivo. Regarding the complex role of MyoD in adult skeletal muscle plasticity and homeostasis, its rapid suppression by MAFbx seems to be a major event leading to skeletal muscle wasting. Our results point out MyoD as the second MAFbx skeletal muscle target by which powerful therapies could be developed.PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(3):e4973. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Comparison of genome-wide binding of MyoD in normal human myogenic cells and rhabdomyosarcomas identifies regional and local suppression of pro-myogenic transcription factors.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rhabdomyosarcoma is a pediatric tumor of skeletal muscle that expresses the myogenic bHLH protein MyoD but fails to undergo terminal differentiation. Prior work has determined that DNA binding by MyoD occurs in the tumor cells, but myogenic targets fail to activate. Using MyoD ChIP-seq and gene expression analysis in both primary human muscle cells and RD rhabdomyosarcoma cells, we demonstrate that MyoD binds in a similar genome-wide pattern in both tumor and normal cells, but binds poorly at a subset of myogenic genes that fail to activate in the tumor cells. Binding differences are found both across genomic regions and locally at specific sites that are associated with binding motifs for RUNX1, MEF2C, JDP2, and NFIC. These factors are expressed at lower levels in RD cells compared to muscle cells and rescue myogenesis when expressed in RD cells. MEF2C is located in a genomic region that exhibits poor MyoD binding in RD cells, whereas JDP2 exhibits local DNA hypermethylation in its promoter in both RDs and primary tumor samples. These results demonstrate that regional and local silencing of differentiation factors contribute to the differentiation defect in rhabdomyosarcomas.Molecular and cellular biology 12/2012; · 6.06 Impact Factor
Article: Calcitriol inhibits hedgehog signaling and induces vitamin d receptor signaling and differentiation in the patched mouse model of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. Aberrant Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is characteristic of the embryonal subtype (ERMS) and of fusion-negative alveolar RMS. In the mouse, ERMS-like tumors can be induced by mutations in the Hh receptor Patched1 (Ptch). As in humans these tumors show increased Hh pathway activity. Here we demonstrate that the treatment with the active form of vitamin D(3), calcitriol, inhibits Hh signaling and proliferation of murine ERMS in vivo and in vitro. Concomitantly, calcitriol activates vitamin D receptor (Vdr) signaling and induces tumor differentiation. In addition, calcitriol inhibits ERMS growth in Ptch-mutant mice, which is, however, a rather late response. Taken together, our results suggest that exogenous supply of calcitriol could be beneficial in the treatment of RMS, especially in those which are associated with aberrant Hh signaling activity.Sarcoma 01/2012; 2012:357040.