Cellular localization of the cell cycle inhibitor Cdkn1c controls growth arrest of adult skeletal muscle stem cells

Elife. 2018 Oct 4;7:e33337. doi: 10.7554/eLife.33337.


Adult skeletal muscle maintenance and regeneration depend on efficient muscle stem cell (MuSC) functions. The mechanisms coordinating cell cycle with activation, renewal, and differentiation of MuSCs remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated how adult MuSCs are regulated by CDKN1c (p57kip2), a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, using mouse molecular genetics. In the absence of CDKN1c, skeletal muscle repair is severely impaired after injury. We show that CDKN1c is not expressed in quiescent MuSCs, while being induced in activated and proliferating myoblasts and maintained in differentiating myogenic cells. In agreement, isolated Cdkn1c-deficient primary myoblasts display differentiation defects and increased proliferation. We further show that the subcellular localization of CDKN1c is dynamic; while CDKN1c is initially localized to the cytoplasm of activated/proliferating myoblasts, progressive nuclear translocation leads to growth arrest during differentiation. We propose that CDKN1c activity is restricted to differentiating myoblasts by regulated cyto-nuclear relocalization, coordinating the balance between proliferation and growth arrest.

Keywords: cell cycle; cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors; developmental biology; mouse; muscle regeneration; p57; regenerative medicine; satellite cells; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57 / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mice
  • Muscle Development / genetics*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development
  • Myoblasts / cytology
  • Myoblasts / metabolism
  • Regeneration / genetics
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology


  • Cdkn1c protein, mouse
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p57