Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

Phosphorylation-dependent degradation of MEF2C contributes to regulate G2/M transition.

PMID 25789873


The Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2C (MEF2C) transcription factor plays a critical role in skeletal muscle differentiation, promoting muscle-specific gene transcription. Here we report that in proliferating cells MEF2C is degraded in mitosis by the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) and that this downregulation is necessary for an efficient progression of the cell cycle. We show that this mechanism of degradation requires the presence on MEF2C of a D-box (R-X-X-L) and 2 phospho-motifs, pSer98 and pSer110. Both the D-box and pSer110 motifs are encoded by the ubiquitous alternate α1 exon. These two domains mediate the interaction between MEF2C and CDC20, a co-activator of APC/C. We further report that in myoblasts, MEF2C regulates the expression of G2/M checkpoint genes (14-3-3γ, Gadd45b and p21) and the sub-cellular localization of CYCLIN B1. The importance of controlling MEF2C levels during the cell cycle is reinforced by the observation that modulation of its expression affects the proliferation rate of colon cancer cells. Our findings show that beside the well-established role as pro-myogenic transcription factor, MEF2C can also function as a regulator of cell proliferation.