YY1 regulates skeletal muscle regeneration through controlling metabolic reprogramming of satellite cells

EMBO J. 2019 May 15;38(10):e99727. doi: 10.15252/embj.201899727. Epub 2019 Apr 12.


Skeletal muscle satellite cells (SCs) are adult muscle stem cells responsible for muscle regeneration after acute or chronic injuries. The lineage progression of quiescent SC toward activation, proliferation, and differentiation during the regeneration is orchestrated by cascades of transcription factors (TFs). Here, we elucidate the function of TF Yin Yang1 (YY1) in muscle regeneration. Muscle-specific deletion of YY1 in embryonic muscle progenitors leads to severe deformity of diaphragm muscle formation, thus neonatal death. Inducible deletion of YY1 in SC almost completely blocks the acute damage-induced muscle repair and exacerbates the chronic injury-induced dystrophic phenotype. Examination of SC revealed that YY1 loss results in cell-autonomous defect in activation and proliferation. Mechanistic search revealed that YY1 binds and represses mitochondrial gene expression. Simultaneously, it also stabilizes Hif1α protein and activates Hif1α-mediated glycolytic genes to facilitate a metabolic reprogramming toward glycolysis which is needed for SC proliferation. Altogether, our findings have identified YY1 as a key regulator of SC metabolic reprogramming through its dual roles in modulating both mitochondrial and glycolytic pathways.

Keywords: Hif1α; YY1; metabolic reprogramming; muscle satellite cell; skeletal muscle regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics*
  • Glycolysis / genetics
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / genetics
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism
  • Muscle Development / genetics
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Regeneration / genetics*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / genetics
  • YY1 Transcription Factor / physiology*


  • YY1 Transcription Factor
  • Yy1 protein, mouse