MURC, a muscle-restricted coiled-coil protein, is involved in the regulation of skeletal myogenesis

Masashi Tagawa, Tomomi Ueyama, Takehiro Ogata, Naofumi Takehara, Norio Nakajima, Koji Isodono, Satoshi Asada, Tomosaburo Takahashi, Hiroaki Matsubara, Hidemasa Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Skeletal myogenesis is a multistep process by which multinucleated mature muscle fibers are formed from undifferentiated, mononucleated myoblasts. However, the molecular mechanisms of skeletal myogenesis have not been fully elucidated. Here, we identified muscle-restricted coiled-coil (MURC) protein as a positive regulator of myogenesis. In skeletal muscle, MURC was localized to the cytoplasm with accumulation in the Z-disc of the sarcomere. In C2C12 myoblasts, MURC expression occurred coincidentally with myogenin expression and preceded sarcomeric myosin expression during differentiation into myotubes. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of MURC impaired differentiation in C2C12 myoblasts, which was accompanied by impaired myogenin expression and ERK activation. Overexpression of MURC in C2C12 myoblasts resulted in the promotion of differentiation with enhanced myogenin expression and ERK activation during differentiation. During injury-induced muscle regeneration, MURC expression increased, and a higher abundance of MURC was observed in immature myofibers compared with mature myofibers. In addition, ERK was activated in regenerating tissue, and ERK activation was detected in MURC-expressing immature myofibers. These findings suggest that MURC is involved in the skeletal myogenesis that results from modulation of myogenin expression and ERK activation. MURC may play pivotal roles in the molecular mechanisms of skeletal myogenic differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C490-C498
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation
  • Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
  • Myoblast
  • Myogenin
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'MURC, a muscle-restricted coiled-coil protein, is involved in the regulation of skeletal myogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this