The HMG-box protein-1 (HBP1) is a member of the HMG family of transcription factors, which are characterized by the presence of a conserved protein motif, the high mobility group (HMG) 1 box, that mediates DNA binding. HBP1 binds to the tumor suppressor proteins Rb and p130 and initiates cell cycle arrest. Terminal cell differentiation requires this initial cell cycle arrest followed by the coordinated expression of genes defined as tissue-specific markers. Along with initiating the commitment to cell differentiation, the continued activity of HBP1 abrogates the expression of tissue-specific genes by associating with the MyoD proteins. In muscle cell differentiation, the MyoD family of transcription factors, which include Myf5, MyoD and myogenein, induce the expression of these cell-type specific proteins and contribute to the development of cell phenotypes. The progression of terminal differentiation is, therefore, dependent on both a decrease in HBP1 activity and the corresponding activation of MyoD-induced gene transcription.View more
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