PAX3 and PAX7 as upstream regulators of myogenesis

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2015 Aug;44:115-25. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.09.017. Epub 2015 Sep 28.


Like other subclasses within the PAX transcription factor family, PAX3 and PAX7 play important roles in the emergence of a number of different tissues during development. PAX3 regulates neural crest and, together with its orthologue PAX7, is also expressed in parts of the central nervous system. In this chapter we will focus on their role in skeletal muscle. Both factors are key regulators of myogenesis where Pax3 plays a major role during early skeletal muscle formation in the embryo while Pax7 predominates during post-natal growth and muscle regeneration in the adult. We review the expression and functions of these factors in the myogenic context. We also discuss mechanistic aspects of PAX3/7 function and modulation of their activity by interaction with other proteins, as well as the post-transcriptional and transcriptional regulation of their expression.

Keywords: Muscle stem cells; Myogenesis; Pax3; Pax7.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Development / physiology*
  • PAX3 Transcription Factor
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors / physiology


  • PAX3 Transcription Factor
  • PAX3 protein, human
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor
  • PAX7 protein, human
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors