Biochimica et biophysica acta

Histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) regulates myocyte migration and differentiation.

PMID 20621129


Class IIa HDACs including HDAC7 play a role in gene expression, cell differentiation, and animal development through their association with transcription factors such as myogenic enhancer factors 2 (MEF2s). In this study, we show that endogenous HDAC7 localizes to both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of C2C12 myoblasts but is exclusively retained in the cytoplasm of myotubes after completion of differentiation process. To elucidate the role of differential distribution of HDAC7 during myogenesis, we examined the effects of stably expressed HDAC7 mutants on myogenesis. Expression of nuclear-retained HDAC7 mutants significantly inhibits myogenesis in C2C12 cells and reduces the expression of muscle-specific myosin heavy chain (MHC) and myogenin. The inhibition in myocyte differentiation can be partially relieved by introduction of a mutation disrupting HDAC7:MEF2 interaction. Since phosphorylation of HDAC7 plays an important role in its nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, we further investigated the expression and distribution of phosphorylated HDAC7. To our surprise, the phosphorylation levels of HDAC7 at S344 and S479 were slightly decreased upon differentiation, whereas the phosphorylation of S178 was unchanged. Interestingly, a significant fraction of pS344- and/or pS479-HDAC7 localized to plasma membrane of myotubes. In addition, Ser178-phosphorylated (pS178) HDAC7 displays a predominantly actin filament-like structure before muscle differentiation. Consistent with this notion, HDAC7 partially colocalized with actin filaments; in particular, pS178-HDAC7 largely colocalized with actin filaments as indicated by phalloidin counter staining in myocytes. Furthermore, C2C12 cells expressing nuclear-retained HDAC7 display defects in migration. Our results provide novel insight into the mechanisms that regulate myocyte differentiation and migration by controlling the subcellular distribution of HDAC7 in differentiating myoblasts.