Dr. Lizi Wu (Dana Farber Cancer Institute) and colleagues report on a critical role for one of the three mammalian mastermind genes (Maml1) in myogenesis – assigning that first biological function to the mammalian MAML Notch co-activators.
"Our study uncovered an exciting and essential regulatory role for Maml1 in muscle development," says Wu.
Dr. Wu and colleagues generated MAML1-deficient mice, which displayed severe muscular dystrophy. The researchers showed that the modulation of MAML1 expression levels in cell culture experiments directly impacts the ability of the muscle gene transcription factor, MEF2C, to induce myogenesis: Increased MAML1 expression leads to enhanced myotube formation and increased expression of muscle-specific target genes, while reduced MAML1 expression impairs muscle cell differentiation. It appears that MEF2C and MAML1 work together in a complex to "turn on" several other genes that are required for muscle development and function.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
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