Date of Award

8-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Molecular Biology Microbiology and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Davie, Judith

Abstract

Myogenesis is orchestrated by a family of bHLH transcription factors: Myogenin, MyoD, Myf5, and Mrf4 are known as the Myogenic Regulatory Factors (MRF). Myogenin is required for the fusion of myoblasts into myofibers during the terminal stages of skeletal muscle differentiation, but how myogenin regulates this process is unknown. FACT is a chromatin disassembly factor that acts as a chromatin specific elongation factor during transcription. We identified the FACT (FAcilitates Chromatin Transcription) complex as an interaction partner of myogenin through a proteomic approach. To understand the role that FACT plays in myogenesis, we sought to confirm that FACT interacted with myogenin, and decipher how FACT contributes to myogenesis. We found that both subunits of FACT independently interact with myogenin and appear to promote myogenin dependent transcription in the early stages of differentiation. We found that FACT is down regulated upon differentiation, but is highly over expressed in rhabdomyosarcoma cells, a pediatric cancer.

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