The myoD gene family: Nodal point during specification of the muscle cell lineage

Harold Weintraub, Robert Davis, Stephen Tapscott, Matthew Thayer, Michael Krause, Robert Benezra, T. Keith Blackwell, David Turner, Ralph Rupp, Stanley Hollenberg, Yuan Zhuang, Andrew Lassar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1184 Scopus citations


The myoD gene converts many differentiated cell types into muscle. MyoD is a member of the basic-helix-loop-helix family of proteins; this 68-amino acid domain in MyoD is necessary and sufficient for myogenesis. MyoD binds cooperatively to muscle-specific enhancers and activates transcription. The helix-loop-helix motif is responsible for dimerization, and, depending on its dimerization partner, MyoD activity can be controlled. MyoD senses and integrates many facets ofcell state. MyoD is expressed only in skeletal muscle and its precursors; in nonmuscle cells myoD is repressed by specific genes. MyoD activates its own transcription; this may stabilize commitment to myogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-766
Number of pages6
Issue number4995
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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