Laboratoire de génétique oncologique, UMR 1599 CNRS, Institut Gustave-Roussy, 94805 Villejuif.
The transcription factor MyoD, member of the myogenic regulators family, induces differentiation in precursor cells by its ability to arrest cell proliferation and to activate muscle specific genes. MyoD plays a key role in the antagonism between proliferation and differentiation. The withdrawal from the cell cycle and the activation of muscle differentiation are related to the level of MyoD protein. The cyclin E-cdk2 complex, one of the key regulators of the G1/S transition is directly implicated in the degradation of MyoD by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, leading the myoblasts to proliferate.The display of this control in normal myoblasts suggests that its deficiency in the muscle stem cells could lead to the formation of rhabdomyosarcomas which have lost both the control of cell proliferation and the transcriptional activity of MyoD.