Zhang K, Sha J, Harter ML
MyoD is a transcriptional factor that is required for the differentiation of muscle stem cells (satellite cells). In this study, we describe a previously unknown function for MyoD in regulating a gene (Cdc6) that is vital to endowing chromatin with the capability of replicating DNA. In C2C12 and primary mouse myoblasts, we show that MyoD can occupy an E-box within the promoter of Cdc6 and that this association, along with E2F3a, is required for its activity. MyoD and Cdc6 are both expressed after quiescent C2C12 myoblasts or satellite cells in association with myofibers are stimulated for growth, but MyoD appears at least 2-3 h earlier than Cdc6. Finally, knockdown of MyoD impairs the ability of C2C12 cells to express Cdc6 after leaving quiescence, and as a result, they cannot fully progress into S phase. Our results define a mechanism by which MyoD helps myogenic satellite cells to enter into the first round of DNA replication after transitioning out of quiescence.