miR-206 integrates multiple components of differentiation pathways to control the transition from growth to differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Skeletal muscle, Volume 2, Issue 1, p.7 (2012)


2012, Basic Sciences Division, Center-Authored Paper, Human Biology Division, May 2012


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Similar to replicating myoblasts, many rhabdomyosarcoma cells express the myogenic determination gene MyoD. In contrast to myoblasts, rhabdomyosarcoma cells do not make the transition from a regulative growth phase to terminal differentiation. Previously we demonstrated that the forced expression of MyoD with its E-protein dimerization partner was sufficient to induce differentiation and suppress multiple growth-promoting genes, suggesting that the dimer was targeting a switch that regulated the transition from growth to differentiation. Our data also suggested that a balance between various inhibitory transcription factors and MyoD activity kept rhabdomyosarcomas trapped in a proliferative state. METHODS: Potential myogenic co-factors were tested for their ability to drive differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma cell culture models, and their relation to MyoD activity determined through molecular biological experiments. RESULTS: Modulation of the transcription factors RUNX1 and ZNF238 can induce differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma cells and their activity is integrated, at least in part, through the activation of miR-206, which acts as a genetic switch to transition the cell from a proliferative growth phase to differentiation. The inhibitory transcription factor MSC also plays a role in controlling miR-206, appearing to function by occluding a binding site for MyoD in the miR-206 promoter. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support a network model composed of coupled regulatory circuits with miR-206 functioning as a switch regulating the transition from one stable state (growth) to another (differentiation).