The Myogenic determination gene (MyoD) was first identified by the virtue of its ability to convert embryonic mouse fibroblast cells to muscle cells. It was subsequently shown that forced expression of MyoD (human homolog is myf 3) gene in a wide variety of normal and neoplastic cells could either convert the cells to muscle cells or activate a set of the otherwise transcriptionally inactive muscle-specific genes in these cells. The regulatory domain of the MyoD gene product lies within a 70 amino acid region and comprises a basic DNA binding motif and a helix-loop-helix (HLH) dimerization motif. Subsequent studies identified three other genes whose products shared sequence homology for the basic HLH domain of MyoD. These are; myf5, myogenin (human homolog is myf4) and myf6 (also known as MRF4 and herculin).
bHLHc1; Class C basic helix-loop-helix protein 1; Myf-3; Myoblast determination protein 1; Myogenic factor 3