Signaling through mitogen-activated protein kinase and Rac/Rho does not duplicate the effects of activated Ras on skeletal myogenesis

Melissa B. Ramocki, Sally E. Johnson, Michael A. White, Curtis L. Ashendel, Stephen F. Konieczny, Elizabeth J. Taparowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The ability of basic helix-loop-helix muscle regulatory factors (MRFs), such as MyoD, to convert nonmuscle cells to a myogenic lineage is regulated by numerous growth factor and oncoprotein signaling pathways. Previous studies have shown that H-Ras 12V inhibits differentiation to a skeletal muscle lineage by disrupting MRF function via a mechanism that is independent of the dimerization, DNA binding, and inherent transcriptional activation properties of the proteins. To investigate the intracellular signaling pathway(s) that mediates the inhibition of MRF-induced myogenesis by oncogenic Ras, we tested two transformation-defective H-Ras 12V effector domain variants for their ability to alter terminal differentiation. H-Ras 12V,35S retains the ability to activate the Raf/MEK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade, whereas H-Ras 12V,40C is unable to interact directly with Raf-1 yet still influences other signaling intermediates, including Rac and Rho. Expression of each H-Ras 12V variant in C3H10T1/2 cells abrogates MyoD-induced activation of the complete myogenic program, suggesting that MAP kinase-dependent and -independent Ras signaling pathways individually block myogenesis in this model system. However, additional studies with constitutively activated Rac1 and RhoA proteins revealed no negative effects on MyoD-induced myogenesis. Similarly, treatment of Ras-inhibited myoblasts with the MEK1 inhibitor PD98059 revealed that elevated MAP kinase activity is not a significant contributor to the H-Ras 12V effect. These data suggest that an additional Ras pathway, distinct from the well-characterized MAP kinase and Rac/Rho pathways known to be important for the transforming function of activated Ras, is primarily responsible for the inhibition of myogenesis by H-Ras 12V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3547-3555
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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