Early transcriptional targets of MyoD link myogenesis and somitogenesis. uri icon


  • In order to identify early transcriptional targets of MyoD prior to skeletal muscle differentiation, we have undertaken a transcriptomic analysis on gastrula stage Xenopus embryos in which MyoD has been knocked-down. Our validated list of genes transcriptionally regulated by MyoD includes Esr1 and Esr2, which are known targets of Notch signalling, and Tbx6, mesogenin, and FoxC1; these genes are all are known to be essential for normal somitogenesis but are expressed surprisingly early in the mesoderm. In addition we found that MyoD is required for the expression of myf5 in the early mesoderm, in contrast to the reverse relationship of these two regulators in amniote somites. These data highlight a role for MyoD in the early mesoderm in regulating a set of genes that are essential for both myogenesis and somitogenesis.

publication date

  • November 15, 2012