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Puri P.L.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Puri P.L.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Mercola M.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Mercola M.,University of California at San Diego
Genes and Development | Year: 2012

Developmental biologists have defined many of the diffusible and transcription factors that control muscle differentiation, yet we still have only rudimentary knowledge of the mechanisms that dictate whether a myogenic progenitor cell forms muscle versus alternate lineages, including those that can be pathological in a state of disease or degeneration. Clues about the molecular basis for lineage determination in muscle progenitors are only now emerging from studies of chromatin modifications that avail myogenic genes for transcription, together with analysis of the composition and activities of the chromatin-modifying complexes themselves. Here we review recent progress on muscle determination and explore a unifying theme that environmental cues from the stem or progenitor niche control the selection of specific subunit variants of the switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) chromatin-modifying complex, creating a combinatorial code that dictates whether cells adopt myogenic versus nonmyogenic cell fates. A key component of the code appears to be the mutually exclusive usage of the a, b, and c variants of the 60-kD structural subunit BAF60 (BRG1/BRM-associated factor 60), of which BAF60c is essential to activate both skeletal and cardiac muscle programs. Since chromatin remodeling governs myogenic fate, the combinatorial assembly of the SWI/SNF complex might be targeted to develop drugs aimed at the therapeutic reduction of compensatory fibrosis and fatty deposition in chronic muscular disorders. © 2012 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Palacios D.,Institute of Cancer Research | Palacios D.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Summerbell D.,Institute of Cancer Research | Rigby P.W.J.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 2 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2010

During development, gene activation is stringently regulated to restrict expression only to the correct cell type and correct developmental stage. Here, we present mechanistic evidence that suggests DNA methylation contributes to this regulation by suppressing premature gene activation. Using the mouse Myogenin promoter as an example of the weak CpG island class of promoters, we find that it is initially methylated but becomes demethylated as development proceeds. Full hypersensitive site formation of the Myogenin promoter requires both the MEF2 and SIX binding sites, but binding to only one site can trigger the partial chromatin opening of the nonmethylated promoter. DNA methylation markedly decreases hypersensitive site formation that now occurs at a detectable level only when binding to both MEF2 and SIX binding sites is possible. This suggests that the probability of activating the methylated promoter is low until two of the factors are coexpressed within the same cell. Consistent with this, the single-cell analysis of developing somites shows that the coexpression of MEF2A and SIX1, which bind the MEF2 and SIX sites, correlates with the fraction of cells that demethylate the Myogenin promoter. Taken together, these studies imply that DNA methylation helps to prevent inappropriate gene activation until sufficient activating factors are coexpressed. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Consalvi S.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Saccone V.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Giordani L.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Minetti G.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Histone deacetylases inhibitors (HDACi) include a growing number of drugs that share the ability to inhibit the enzymatic activity of some or all the HDACs. Experimental and preclinical evidence indicates that these epigenetic drugs not only can be effective in the treatment of malignancies, inflammatory diseases and degenerative disorders, but also in the treatment of genetic diseases, such as muscular dystrophies. The ability of HDACi to counter the progression of muscular dystrophies points to HDACs as a crucial link between specific genetic mutations and downstream determinants of disease progression. It also suggests the contribution of epigenetic events to the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies. Here we describe the experimental evidence supporting the key role of HDACs in the control of the transcriptional networks underlying the potential of dystrophic muscles either to activate compensatory regeneration or to undergo fibroadipogenic degeneration. Studies performed in mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) indicate that dystrophin deficiency leads to deregulated HDAC activity, which perturbs downstream networks and can be restored directly, by HDAC blockade, or indirectly, by reexpression of dystrophin. This evidence supports the current view that HDACi are emerging candidate drugs for pharmacological interventions in muscular dystrophies, and reveals unexpected common beneficial outcomes of pharmacological treatment or gene therapy. © 2011 The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Peserico A.,Laboratory of Signal dependent Transcription | Chiacchiera F.,Laboratory of Signal dependent Transcription | Grossi V.,Cancer Genetics Laboratory | Matrone A.,Laboratory of Signal dependent Transcription | And 11 more authors.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2013

Reduction of nutrient intake without malnutrition positively influences lifespan and healthspan from yeast to mice and exerts some beneficial effects also in humans. The AMPK-FoxO axis is one of the evolutionarily conserved nutrient-sensing pathways, and the FOXO3A locus is associated with human longevity. Interestingly, FoxO3A has been reported to be also a mitochondrial protein in mammalian cells and tissues. Here we report that glucose restriction triggers FoxO3A accumulation into mitochondria of fibroblasts and skeletal myotubes in an AMPK-dependent manner. A low-glucose regimen induces the formation of a protein complex containing FoxO3A, SIRT3, and mitochondrial RNA polymerase (mtRNAPol) at mitochondrial DNA-regulatory regions causing activation of the mitochondrial genome and a subsequent increase in mitochondrial respiration. Consistently, mitochondrial transcription increases in skeletal muscle of fasted mice, with a mitochondrial DNA-bound FoxO3A/SIRT3/mtRNAPol complex detectable also in vivo. Our results unveil a mitochondrial arm of the AMPK-FoxO3A axis acting as a recovery mechanism to sustain energy metabolism upon nutrient restriction. © 2012 Springer Basel.

Palacios D.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Palacios D.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Mozzetta C.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute DTI | Mozzetta C.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | And 15 more authors.
Cell Stem Cell | Year: 2010

How regeneration cues are converted into the epigenetic information that controls gene expression in adult stem cells is currently unknown. We identified an inflammation-activated signaling in muscle stem (satellite) cells, by which the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) represses Pax7 expression during muscle regeneration. TNF-activated p38α kinase promotes the interaction between YY1 and PRC2, via threonine 372 phosphorylation of EZH2, the enzymatic subunit of the complex, leading to the formation of repressive chromatin on Pax7 promoter. TNF-α antibodies stimulate satellite cell proliferation in regenerating muscles of dystrophic or normal mice. Genetic knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of the enzymatic components of the p38/PRC2 signaling - p38α and EZH2 - invariably promote Pax7 expression and expansion of satellite cells that retain their differentiation potential upon signaling resumption. Genetic knockdown of Pax7 impaired satellite cell proliferation in response to p38 inhibition, thereby establishing the biological link between p38/PRC2 signaling to Pax7 and satellite cell decision to proliferate or differentiate. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

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