MicroRNA deep sequencing in two adult stem cell populations identifies miR-501 as a novel regulator of myosin heavy chain during muscle regeneration

Development. 2016 Nov 15;143(22):4137-4148. doi: 10.1242/dev.136051. Epub 2016 Oct 5.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HEK293 Cells
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred mdx
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Muscle Development / genetics
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Regeneration / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


  • MIRN501 microRNA, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • Myosin Heavy Chains