Journal Article

Expression of the utrophin gene during myogenic differentiation

Anthony O. Gramolini and Bernard J. Jasmin

in Nucleic Acids Research

Volume 27, issue 17, pages 3603-3609
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0305-1048
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1362-4962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/27.17.3603
Expression of the utrophin gene during myogenic differentiation

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The process of myogenic differentiation is known to be accompanied by large increases (∼10-fold) in the expression of genes encoding cytoskeletal and membrane proteins including dystrophin and the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunits, via the effects of transcription factors belonging to the MyoD family. Since in skeletal muscle (i) utrophin is a synaptic homolog to dystrophin, and (ii) the utrophin promoter contains an E-box, we examined, in the present study, expression of the utrophin gene during myogenic differentiation using the mouse C2 muscle cell line. We observed that in comparison to myoblasts, the levels of utrophin and its transcript were ∼2-fold higher in differentiated myotubes. In order to address whether a greater rate of transcription contributed to the elevated levels of utrophin transcripts, we performed nuclear run-on assays. In these studies we determined that the rate of transcription of the utrophin gene was ∼2-fold greater in myotubes as compared to myoblasts. Finally, we examined the stability of utrophin mRNAs in muscle cultures by two separate methods: following transcription blockade with actinomycin D and by pulse-chase experiments. Under these conditions, we determined that the half-life of utrophin mRNAs in myoblasts was ∼20 h and that it remained largely unaffected during myogenic differentiation. Altogether, these results show that in comparison to other synaptic proteins and to dystrophin, expression of the utrophin gene is only moderately increased during myogenic differentiation.

Journal Article.  3750 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Chemistry ; Biochemistry ; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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