Satellite cells (SCs) are adult muscle stem cells that are mobilized when muscle homeostasis is perturbed. Here, we show that serum response factor (Srf) is needed for optimal SC-mediated hypertrophic growth. We identified Srf as a master regulator of SC fusion required in both fusion partners, whereas it was dispensable for SC proliferation and differentiation. We show that SC-specific Srf deletion leads to impaired actin cytoskeleton and report the existence of finger-like actin-based protrusions at fusion sites in vertebrates that were notoriously absent in fusion-defective myoblasts lacking Srf. Restoration of a polymerized actin network by overexpression of an α-actin isoform in Srf mutant SCs rescued their fusion with a control cell in vitro and in vivo and reestablished overload-induced muscle growth. These findings demonstrate the importance of Srf in controlling the organization of actin cytoskeleton and actin-based protrusions for myoblast fusion in mammals and its requirement to achieve efficient hypertrophic myofiber growth.
© 2018 Randrianarison-Huetz et al.