Comparative proteomes of the proliferating C2C12 myoblasts and fully differentiated myotubes reveal the complexity of the skeletal muscle differentiation program

Nilesh S. Tannu, Vamshi K. Rao, Ritcha M. Chaudhary, Francesco Giorgianni, Abdelwahab E. Saeed, Yong Gao, Rajendra Raghow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


When cultured in low serum-containing growth medium, the mouse C2C12 cells exit cell cycle and undergo a well-defined program of differentiation that culminates in the formation of myosin heavy chain-positive bona fide multinucleated muscle cells. To gain an understanding into this process, we compared total, membrane- and nuclear-enriched proteins, and phospho-proteins from the proliferating C2C12 cells and the fully differentiated myotubes by the combined methods of two-dimensional PAGE, quantitative PDQuest image analysis, and MS. Quantification of more than 2,000 proteins from C2C12 myoblasts and myotubes revealed that a vast majority of the abundant proteins appear to be relegated to the essential, housekeeping and structural functions, and their steady state levels remain relatively constant. In contrast, 75 proteins were highly regulated during the phenotypic conversion of rapidly dividing C2C12 myoblasts into fully differentiated, multi-nucleated, post-mitotic myotubes. We found that differential accumulation of 26 phospho-proteins also occurred during conversion of C2C12 myoblasts into myotubes. We identified the differentially expressed proteins by MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-ESI-quadrupole ion trap MS/MS. We demonstrate that more than 100 proteins, some shown to be associated with muscle differentiation for the first time, that regulate inter- and intracellular signaling, cell shape, proliferation, apoptosis, and gene expression impinge on the mechanism of skeletal muscle differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1082
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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