The development of skeletal muscle during embryogenesis and repair in adults is dependent on the intricate balance between the proliferation of myogenic progenitor cells and the differentiation of those cells into functional muscle fibers. Recent studies demonstrate that the Drosophila melanogaster transcription factor CG9650 is expressed in muscle progenitor cells, where it maintains myoblast numbers. We are interested in the Mus musculus orthologs Bcl11a and Bcl11b (C2H2 zinc finger transcription factors), and understanding their role as molecular switches that control proliferation/differentiation decisions in muscle progenitor cells. Expression analysis revealed that Bcl11b, but not Bcl11a, is expressed in the region of the mouse embryo populated with myogenic progenitor cells; gene expression studies in muscle cell culture confirmed Bcl11b is also selectively transcribed in muscle. Furthermore, Bcl11b is down-regulated with differentiation, which is consistent with the belief that the gene plays a role in cell proliferation.
- Bcl11a and Bcl11b Regulation of the Decision for Murine Cells to Proliferate or Differentiate During Skeletal Muscle Development and Repair
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