MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of skeletal muscle regeneration, but the underlying mechanisms are still incompletely understood. Here, comparative miRNA sequencing analysis of myogenic progenitor cells (MPs) and non-myogenic fibroblast-adipocyte progenitors (FAPs) during cardiotoxin (CTX)-induced muscle injury uncovered miR-501 as a novel muscle-specific miRNA. miR-501 is an intronic miRNA and its expression levels in MPs correlated with its host gene, chloride channel, voltage-sensitive 5 (Clcn5). Pharmacological inhibition of miR-501 dramatically blunted the induction of embryonic myosin heavy chain (MYH3) and, to a lesser extent, adult myosin isoforms during muscle regeneration, and promoted small-diameter neofibers. An unbiased target identification approach in primary myoblasts validated gigaxonin as a target of miR-501 that mimicked the effect of miR-501 inhibition on MYH3 expression. In the mdx mouse model, which models a pathological disease state, not only was miR-501 induced in regenerating skeletal muscle, but also its serum levels were increased, which correlated with the disease state of the animals. Our results suggest that miR-501 plays a key role in adult muscle regeneration and might serve as a novel serum biomarker for the activation of adult muscle stem cells.
Keywords: MicroRNA; Myosin; Regeneration; Serum; Skeletal muscle.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.