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Xenobiotica. 2017 Nov 24:1-15. doi: 10.1080/00498254.2017.1409917. [Epub ahead of print]

Bidirectional Regulation of Genistein on the Proliferation and Differentiation of C2C12 Myoblasts.

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a College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University , Chengdu 611130 , China.
b Sichuan Province General Station of Animal Husbandry , Chengdu 611130 , China.
c College of Life and Science, Sichuan Agricultural University , Chengdu 611130 , China.
d Chongqing Academy of Animal Sciences , Chongqing 402460 , China.


1. Genistein is a widely studied phytoestrogen. The effects of genistein on myoblasts were reported long ago, but the conclusions are controversial. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of different concentrations of genistein on C2C12 myoblasts. 2. Genistein treatment promoted myoblast proliferation in a dose-development manner in the 0-2 µM/L range, reaching its maximum effect at 2 µM/L. Proliferation then declined, and a concentration higher than 20 µM/L showed significant inhibition. Additionally, genistein treatment promoted myoblast differentiation at a dose of 10 µM/L. However, at treatment concentrations higher than 10 µM/L, the effect on myoblast differentiation was rapidly inhibited as the concentration increased. 3. Genistein treatment also downregulated miR-222, resulting in increased expression of its target genes, MyoG, MyoD and ERα and thereby promoting myoblast differentiation. 4. Our results suggest that genistein has a dose-dependent and bidirectional regulation effect on myoblast proliferation and differentiation. We also found that genistein is a miRNA inducer, and it specifically affects the expression of miR-222 to regulate myoblast differentiation.


C2C12 myoblasts; aopotosis; differentiation; genistein; miR-222; proliferation

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