Ryanodine receptor RyR1-mediated elevation of Ca2+ concentration is required for the late stage of myogenic differentiation and fusion

J Anim Sci Biotechnol. 2022 Feb 11;13(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s40104-021-00668-x.


Background: Cytosolic Ca2+ plays vital roles in myogenesis and muscle development. As a major Ca2+ release channel of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), ryanodine receptor 1 (RyR1) key mutations are main causes of severe congenital myopathies. The role of RyR1 in myogenic differentiation has attracted intense research interest but remains unclear.

Results: In the present study, both RyR1-knockdown myoblasts and CRISPR/Cas9-based RyR1-knockout myoblasts were employed to explore the role of RyR1 in myogenic differentiation, myotube formation as well as the potential mechanism of RyR1-related myopathies. We observed that RyR1 expression was dramatically increased during the late stage of myogenic differentiation, accompanied by significantly elevated cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration. Inhibition of RyR1 by siRNA-mediated knockdown or chemical inhibitor, dantrolene, significantly reduced cytosolic Ca2+ and blocked multinucleated myotube formation. The elevation of cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration can effectively relieve myogenic differentiation stagnation by RyR1 inhibition, demonstrating that RyR1 modulates myogenic differentiation via regulation of Ca2+ release channel. However, RyR1-knockout-induced Ca2+ leakage led to the severe ER stress and excessive unfolded protein response, and drove myoblasts into apoptosis.

Conclusions: Therefore, we concluded that Ca2+ release mediated by dramatic increase in RyR1 expression is required for the late stage of myogenic differentiation and fusion. This study contributes to a novel understanding of the role of RyR1 in myogenic differentiation and related congenital myopathies, and provides a potential target for regulation of muscle characteristics and meat quality.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Ca2+ homeostasis; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Myoblast fusion; Myogenic differentiation; RyR1 knockout.