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Xenopus SOX5 Enhances Myogenic Transcription Indirectly Through Transrepression.

B. della Gaspera, A. Chesneau, Laure Weill, F. Charbonnier, C. Chanoine
Published 2018 · Biology, Medicine

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In anamniotes, somite compartimentalization in the lateral somitic domain leads simultaneously to myotome and dermomyotome formation. In the myotome, Xenopus Sox5 is co-expressed with Myod1 in the course of myogenic differentiation. Here, we studied the function of Sox5 using a Myod1-induced myogenic transcription assay in pluripotent cells of animal caps. We found that Sox5 enhances myogenic transcription of muscle markers Des, Actc1, Ckm and MyhE3. The use of chimeric transactivating or transrepressive Sox5 proteins indicates that Sox5 acts as a transrepressor and indirectly stimulates myogenic transcription except for the slow muscle-specific genes Myh7L, Myh7S, Myl2 and Tnnc1. We showed that this role is shared by Sox6, which is structurally similar to Sox5, both belonging to the SoxD subfamily of transcription factors. Moreover, Sox5 can antagonize the inhibitory function of Meox2 on myogenic differentiation. Meox2 which is a dermomyotome marker, represses myogenic transcription in Myod-induced myogenic transcription assay and in Nodal5-induced mesoderm from animal cap assay. The inhibitory function of Meox2 and the pro-myogenic function of Sox5 were confirmed during Xenopus normal development by the use of translation-blocking oligomorpholinos and dexamethasone inducible chimeric Sox5 and Meox2 proteins. We have therefore identified a new function for SoxD proteins in muscle cells, which can indirectly enhance myogenic transcription through transrepression, in addition to the previously identified function as a direct repressor of slow muscle-specific genes.
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