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J Biol Chem. 2003 Mar 7;278(10):8826-36. Epub 2002 Dec 10.

Highly coordinated gene regulation in mouse skeletal muscle regeneration.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Mammalian skeletal muscles are capable of regeneration after injury. Quiescent satellite cells are activated to reenter the cell cycle and to differentiate for repair, recapitulating features of myogenesis during embryonic development. To understand better the molecular mechanism involved in this process in vivo, we employed high density cDNA microarrays for gene expression profiling in mouse tibialis anterior muscles after a cardiotoxin injection. Among 16,267 gene elements surveyed, 3,532 elements showed at least a 2.5-fold change at one or more time points during a 14-day time course. Hierarchical cluster analysis and semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed induction of genes important for cell cycle control and DNA replication during the early phase of muscle regeneration. Subsequently, genes for myogenic regulatory factors, a group of imprinted genes and genes with functions to inhibit cell cycle progression and promote myogenic differentiation, were induced when myogenic stem cells started to differentiate. Induction of a majority of these genes, including E2f1 and E2f2, was abolished in muscles lacking satellite cell activity after gamma radiation. Regeneration was severely compromised in E2f1 null mice but not affected in E2f2 null mice. This study identifies novel genes potentially important for muscle regeneration and reveals highly coordinated myogenic cell proliferation and differentiation programs in adult skeletal muscle regeneration in vivo.

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