Muscle-specific microRNAs in skeletal muscle development

Dev Biol. 2016 Feb 1;410(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2015.12.013. Epub 2015 Dec 19.


Proper muscle function constitutes a precondition for good heath and an active lifestyle during an individual's lifespan and any deviations from normal skeletal muscle development and its functions may lead to numerous health conditions including e.g. myopathies and increased mortality. It is thus not surprising that there is an increasing need for understanding skeletal muscle developmental processes and the associated molecular pathways, especially as such information could find further uses in therapy. The understanding of complex skeletal muscle developmental networks was broadened with the discovery of microRNA (miRNA) molecules. MicroRNAs are evolutionary conserved small non-coding RNAs capable of negatively regulating gene expression on a post-transcriptional level by means of miRNA-mRNA interaction. Several miRNAs expressed exclusively in muscle have been labeled myomiRs. MyomiRs represent an integral part of skeletal muscle development, i.e. playing a significant role during skeletal muscle proliferation, differentiation and regeneration. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of current knowledge regarding the involvement of myomiRs in the individual phases of myogenesis and other aspects of skeletal muscle biology, along with an up-to-date list of myomiR target genes and their functions in skeletal muscle and miRNA-related therapeutic approaches and future prospects.

Keywords: miR-1; miR-133; miR-206; miR-208b; miR-486; miR-499.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Muscle Development*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism


  • MIRN1 microRNA, human
  • MIRN133 microRNA, human
  • MIRN206 microRNA, human
  • MIRN486 microRNA, human
  • MIRN499 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs