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Poult Sci. 2014 Jan;93(1):138-46. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03300.

Decorin-induced proliferation of avian myoblasts involves the myostatin/Smad signaling pathway.

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College of Animal Science, ALLTECH-SCAU Animal Nutrition Control Research Alliance, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510642, P. R. China.


Decorin, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan as a component of the extracellular matrix, plays an important role in the skeletal muscle development. It has been reported that decorin promoted proliferation and differentiation of muscle cells by restraining myostatin activity in rodents. However, the effects and mechanisms of decorin on avian myoblast proliferation are not understood clearly. Thus, in our research, decorin overexpressing and knocking-down quail myoblast-7 (QM7) myoblasts were established to explore the effects of decorin on avian myoblast proliferation by flow cytometry. The results showed that overexpression of decorin enhanced the proliferation of QM7 myoblasts, which was accompanied by the upregulation of follistatin and primary muscle regulatory factors (i.e., myogenic factor 5, myogenic factor 1, myogenin), and downregulation of myostatin expression, as well as the decreased phosphorylation level of SMAD family member 3 (Smad3). In line with expectations, decorin RNAi displayed an opposite effect on the proliferation and gene expression pattern of QM7 cells. In conclusion, our in vitro studies suggested the decorin-mediated myostatin/Smad signaling pathway might be involved in the regulation of avian myoblast proliferation.


QM7 myoblast; Smad3; cell proliferation; decorin; myostatin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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