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Science 304 (5677): 1675-1678

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Msx1 Cooperates with Histone H1b for Inhibition of Transcription and Myogenesis

Hansol Lee,1,3 Raymond Habas,2,5 Cory Abate-Shen1,2,3,4*

Abstract: During embryogenesis, differentiation of skeletal muscle is regulated by transcription factors that include members of the Msx homeoprotein family. By investigating Msx1 function in repression of myogenic gene expression, we identified a physical interaction between Msx1 and H1b, a specific isoform of mouse histone H1. We found that Msx1 and H1b bind to a key regulatory element of MyoD, a central regulator of skeletal muscle differentiation, where they induce repressed chromatin. Moreover, Msx1 and H1b cooperate to inhibit muscle differentiation in cell culture and in Xenopus animal caps. Our findings define a previously unknown function for "linker" histones in gene-specific transcriptional regulation.

1 Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
2 The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
3 Department of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
4 Department of Neuroscience, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
5 Department of Biochemistry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: abate{at}

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