Molecular regulation of individual skeletal muscle fibre types

Acta Physiol Scand. 2003 Aug;178(4):413-24. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-201X.2003.01158.x.


The purpose of this review is to present current understanding of cellular and molecular regulation of fibre type expression in skeletal muscle. Published literature seems to conclusively suggest that muscle fibre type expression is regulated by multiple signalling pathways and transcription factors rather than a single 'master' switch or signalling pathway. While the current nomenclature for fibre types is convenient for communication, based upon the evolution of this nomenclature, the prediction that fibre type classifications may change in the future to incorporate post-genomic information is made. It is predicted that future fibre type classifications could be based upon the contractile-activity-induced changes in a common regulatory factor(s) within a subpopulation of genes whose expressions are altered to modify and maintain the new muscle fibre phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Calcineurin / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Glycolysis / genetics
  • Humans
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / classification
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenotype
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics


  • Calcineurin
  • Myosin Heavy Chains