Epigenetic regulation of satellite cell activation during muscle regeneration

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011 Apr 19;2(2):18. doi: 10.1186/scrt59.


Satellite cells are a population of adult muscle stem cells that play a key role in mediating muscle regeneration. Activation of these quiescent stem cells in response to muscle injury involves modulating expression of multiple developmentally regulated genes, including mediators of the muscle-specific transcription program: Pax7, Myf5, MyoD and myogenin. Here we present evidence suggesting an essential role for the antagonistic Polycomb group and Trithorax group proteins in the epigenetic marking of muscle-specific genes to ensure proper temporal and spatial expression during muscle regeneration. The importance of Polycomb group and Trithorax group proteins in establishing chromatin structure at muscle-specific genes suggests that therapeutic modulation of their activity in satellite cells could represent a viable approach for repairing damaged muscle in muscular dystrophy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenomics*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscular Dystrophies / therapy
  • MyoD Protein / metabolism
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5 / metabolism
  • Myogenin / metabolism
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / physiology*


  • MyoD Protein
  • Myogenic Regulatory Factor 5
  • Myogenin
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor
  • PAX7 protein, human