CREB is activated by muscle injury and promotes muscle regeneration

PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24714. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024714. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


The cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) plays key roles in differentiation of embryonic skeletal muscle progenitors and survival of adult skeletal muscle. However, little is known about the physiologic signals that activate CREB in normal muscle. Here we show that CREB phosphorylation and target genes are induced after acute muscle injury and during regeneration due to genetic mutation. Activated CREB localizes to both myogenic precursor cells and newly regenerating myofibers within regenerating areas. Moreover, we found that signals from damaged skeletal muscle tissue induce CREB phosphorylation and target gene expression in primary mouse myoblasts. An activated CREB mutant (CREBY134F) potentiates myoblast proliferation as well as expression of early myogenic transcription factors in cultured primary myocytes. Consistently, activated CREB-YF promotes myoblast proliferation after acute muscle injury in vivo and enhances muscle regeneration in dystrophic mdx mice. Our findings reveal a new physiologic function for CREB in contributing to skeletal muscle regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Myoblasts / cytology
  • Myoblasts / metabolism
  • Regeneration / physiology*


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein