In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) the absence of dystrophin at the sarcolemma delocalizes and downregulates nitric oxide synthase (nNOS); this alters S-nitrosylation of HDAC2 and its chromatin association. We show that the differential HDAC2 nitrosylation state in Duchenne versus wild-type conditions deregulates the expression of a specific subset of microRNA genes. Several circuitries controlled by the identified microRNAs, such as the one linking miR-1 to the G6PD enzyme and the redox state of cell, or miR-29 to extracellular proteins and the fibrotic process, explain some of the DMD pathogenetic traits. We also show that, at variance with other myomiRs, miR-206 escapes from the dystrophin-nNOS control being produced in activated satellite cells before dystrophin expression; in these cells, it contributes to muscle regeneration through repression of the satellite specific factor, Pax7. We conclude that the pathway activated by dystrophin/nNOS controls several important circuitries increasing the robustness of the muscle differentiation program.
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