The NAD(+)-dependent SIRT1 deacetylase translates a metabolic switch into regulatory epigenetics in skeletal muscle stem cells

Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Feb 5;16(2):171-83. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 15.


Stem cells undergo a shift in metabolic substrate utilization during specification and/or differentiation, a process that has been termed metabolic reprogramming. Here, we report that during the transition from quiescence to proliferation, skeletal muscle stem cells experience a metabolic switch from fatty acid oxidation to glycolysis. This reprogramming of cellular metabolism decreases intracellular NAD(+) levels and the activity of the histone deacetylase SIRT1, leading to elevated H4K16 acetylation and activation of muscle gene transcription. Selective genetic ablation of the SIRT1 deacetylase domain in skeletal muscle results in increased H4K16 acetylation and deregulated activation of the myogenic program in SCs. Moreover, mice with muscle-specific inactivation of the SIRT1 deacetylase domain display reduced myofiber size, impaired muscle regeneration, and derepression of muscle developmental genes. Overall, these findings reveal how metabolic cues can be mechanistically translated into epigenetic modifications that regulate skeletal muscle stem cell biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic* / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Histones
  • NAD
  • Sirt1 protein, mouse
  • Sirtuin 1