Cyclin dependent kinase 5, cdk5, is a positive regulator of myogenesis in mouse C2 cells

Lazaro, J. B.; Kitzmann, M.; Poul, M. A.; Vandromme, M.; Lamb, N. J. C.; Fernandez, A.

Journal of Cell Science

1997-05 / vol 110 / pages 1251-1260


We have examined the expression, activity and localization of cyclin dependent kinase 5 (cdk5), during myogenesis. Cdk5 protein was found expressed in adult mouse muscle. In murine C2 cells, both the protein level and kinase activity of cdk5 showed a marked increase during early myogenesis with a peak between 36 and 48 hours of differentiation, decreasing as myotubes fuse after 60 to 72 hours. This increase in cdk5 protein level was specific for differentiation and not simply related to cell cycle arrest since it was not observed in fibroblasts grown for 48 hours in low serum medium. Indirect immunofluorescence using monospecific purified anti-cdk5 antibodies showed a low level cytoplasmic staining in proliferative myoblasts, a rapid increase in nuclear staining during the initial 12 hours of differentiation and a predominant nuclear staining in myotubes. Microinjection of plasmids encoding wild-type cdk5 into C2 myoblasts enhanced differentiation as assessed by both myogenin and troponin T expression after 48 hours of differentiation. In contrast, microinjection of plasmids encoding a dominant negative mutant of cdk5 inhibited the onset of differentiation. These data imply a previously unsuspected role for cdk5 protein kinase as a positive modulator of early myogenesis.



cyclin-dependent kinase; expression; differentiation; identification; bovine brain; directed protein-kinase; kda subunit; muscle; myoblasts; myod; myogenesis; neuronal cdc2-like kinase; terminal differentiation

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