Cell-surface markers for prospective isolation of stem cells from human skeletal muscle have been difficult to identify. Such markers would be powerful tools for studying satellite cell function during homeostasis and in pathogenesis of diseases such as muscular dystrophies. In this study, we show that the tetraspanin KAI/CD82 is an excellent marker for prospectively isolating stem cells from human fetal and adult skeletal muscle. Human CD82+ muscle cells robustly engraft into a mouse model of muscular dystrophy. shRNA knockdown of CD82 in myogenic cells reduces myoblast proliferation, suggesting it is functionally involved in muscle homeostasis. CD82 physically interacts with alpha7beta1 integrin (α7β1-ITG) and with α-sarcoglycan, a member of the Dystrophin-Associated Glycoprotein Complex (DAPC), both of which have been linked to muscular dystrophies. Consistently, CD82 expression is decreased in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients. Together, these findings suggest that CD82 function may be important for muscle stem cell function in muscular disorders.
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