Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (Cdk9) is a serine-threonine kinase, involved in many cellular processes. The regulatory units of Cdk9 are the T family Cyclins (T1, T2) and Cyclin K. Cyclin T2 has two forms termed Cyclin T2a and Cyclin T2b that arise by an alternative splicing of the primary transcript. Upon induction of muscle differentiation, MyoD recruits Cdk9/Cyclin T2 on muscle-specific gene promoter sequences. This complex is able to phosphorylate the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II, enhancing MyoD function and promoting myogenic differentiation. This work focuses on the characterization of two murine Cyclin T2 isoforms and the evaluation of the role of Cdk9/Cyclin T2 complexes during the skeletal muscle differentiation. This study demonstrated a predominant expression of isoform b in all stages of differentiation. Moreover, both isoforms of Cyclin T2 are able to activate the myogenic program but Cyclin T2b has a predominant role, in particular during the latest stages. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 728–734, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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