The Muscle Regulatory Transcription Factor MyoD Participates With p53 To Directly Increase the Expression of the Pro-Apoptotic Bcl2 Family Member PUMA

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The muscle regulatory transcription factor MyoD is a master regulator of skeletal myoblast differentiation. We have previously reported that MyoD is also necessary for the elevated expression of the pro-apoptotic Bcl2 family member PUMA, and the ensuing apoptosis, that occurs in a subset of myoblasts induced to differentiate. Herein, we report the identification of a functional MyoD binding site within the extended PUMA promoter. In silico analysis of the murine PUMA extended promoter revealed three potential MyoD binding sites within 2 kb of the transcription start site. Expression from a luciferase reporter construct containing this 2 kb fragment was enhanced by activation of MyoD in both myoblasts and fibroblasts and diminished by silencing of MyoD in myoblasts. Experiments utilizing truncated versions of this promoter region revealed that the potential binding site at position − 857 was necessary for expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis confirmed binding of MyoD to the DNA region encompassing position − 857. The increase in MyoD binding to the PUMA promoter as a consequence of culture in differentiation media (DM) was comparable to the increase in MyoD binding at the myogenin promoter and was diminished in myoblasts silenced for MyoD expression. Finally, ChIP analysis using an antibody specific for the transcription factor p53 demonstrated that, in myoblasts silenced for MyoD expression, p53 binding to the PUMA promoter was diminished in response to culture in DM. These data indicate that MyoD plays a direct role in regulating PUMA expression and reveal functional consequences of MyoD expression on p53 mediated transcription of PUMA.