The transcriptional activation mechanisms that regulate tissue-specific expression of cardiac muscle genes have been extensively investigated, but little is known of the regulatory events involved in repression of cardiac-specific genes in non-cardiac cells. We have previously reported that Nished, a ubiquitous transcription factor, interacts with a positive sequence element, the Intron Regulatory Element (IRE) as well as a negatively acting element, the Cardiac-Specific Sequence (CSS), in myosin light chain-2 (MLC2v) gene to promote activation and repression of the gene in cardiac and skeletal muscle cells respectively. Here, we show that the negative regulation of cardiac MLC2v gene in skeletal muscle cells is mediated via the interaction of Nished with histone deacetylase (HDAC) co-repressor. Treatment of cells with the HDAC inhibitor, Trichostatin A (TSA), alleviates the repressor activity of Nished in a dose-dependent manner. Co-transfection studies in primary muscle cells in culture and in Nished expressing stable skeletal muscle cell line demonstrate that Nished down-regulates the cardiac MLC2 gene expression when its association is restricted to CSS alone. Chromatin immunoprecipitation data suggest that the CSS-mediated repression of cardiac MLC2v gene in skeletal muscle cells excludes the participation of the positive element IRE despite the presence of an identical Nished binding site. Taken together, it appears that the negative control of MLC2v transcription is based on a dual mode of regulations, one that affords inaccessibility of IRE to Nished and second that promotes the formation of the transcription repression complex at the inhibitory CSS site to silence the cardiac gene in skeletal muscle cell.