Stephen J. Tapscott

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The myoD gene converts many differentiated cell types into muscle. MyoD is a member of the basic-helix-loop-helix family of proteins; this 68-amino acid domain in MyoD is necessary and sufficient for myogenesis. MyoD binds cooperatively to muscle-specific enhancers and activates transcription. The helix-loop-helix motif is responsible for dimerization, and,(More)
To understand gene expression changes mediated by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in the human huntingtin protein, we used oligonucleotide DNA arrays to profile approximately 6000 striatal mRNAs in the R6/2 mouse, a transgenic Huntington's disease (HD) model. We found diminished levels of mRNAs encoding components of the neurotransmitter, calcium and(More)
Terminal differentiation of distinct cell types requires the transcriptional activation of differentiation-specific genes and the suppression of genes associated with the precursor cell. For example, the expression of utrophin (Utrn) is suppressed during skeletal muscle differentiation, and it is replaced at the sarcolemma by the related dystrophin protein.(More)
Recent studies have demonstrated that MyoD initiates a feed-forward regulation of skeletal muscle gene expression, predicting that MyoD binds directly to many genes expressed during differentiation. We have used chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-throughput sequencing to identify genome-wide binding of MyoD in several skeletal muscle cell types. As(More)
Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors are known to function during mammalian neurogenesis. Here we show that transient transfection of vectors expressing neuroD2, MASH1, ngn1 or related neural bHLH proteins, with their putative dimerization partner E12, can convert mouse P19 embryonal carcinoma cells into differentiated neurons. Transfected(More)
Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most common inherited muscular dystrophies. The causative gene remains controversial and the mechanism of pathophysiology unknown. Here we identify genes associated with germline and early stem cell development as targets of the DUX4 transcription factor, a leading candidate gene for FSHD. The genes(More)
Skeletal muscle differentiation is initiated by the transcription factor MyoD, which binds directly to the regulatory regions of genes expressed during skeletal muscle differentiation and initiates chromatin remodeling at specific promoters. It is not known, however, how MyoD initially recognizes its binding site in a chromatin context. Here we show that(More)
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a common form of muscular dystrophy in adults that is foremost characterized by progressive wasting of muscles in the upper body. FSHD is associated with contraction of D4Z4 macrosatellite repeats on chromosome 4q35, but this contraction is pathogenic only in certain "permissive" chromosomal backgrounds.(More)
Each unit of the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat contains a retrotransposed gene encoding the DUX4 double-homeobox transcription factor. Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is caused by deletion of a subset of the D4Z4 units in the subtelomeric region of chromosome 4. Although it has been reported that the deletion of D4Z4 units induces the pathological(More)
Postnatal growth and regeneration of skeletal muscle requires a population of resident myogenic precursors named satellite cells. The transcription factor Pax7 is critical for satellite cell biogenesis and survival and has been also implicated in satellite cell self-renewal; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Previously, we showed(More)