Myostatin is a negative regulator of myogenesis and has been suggested to be an important factor in the development of muscle wasting during viral infection. The objective of this study was to characterize the main regulatory element of the grouper myostatin promoter and to study changes in promoter activity due to viral stimulation. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicated that the E-box E6 is a positive cis-and trans-regulation motif, and an essential binding site for MyoD. In contrast, the E-box E5 is a dominant negative cis-regulatory. The characteristics of grouper myostatin promoter are similar in regulation of muscle growth to that of other species, but mainly through specific regulatory elements. According to these results, we conducted a study to investigate the effect of viral infection on myostatin promoter activity and its regulation. The nervous necrosis virus (NNV) treatment significantly induced myostatin promoter activity. The present study is the first report describing that specific myostatin motifs regulate promoter activity and response to viral infection. © 2017 Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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