Mechanism for regulation of growth and differentiation of adult muscle stem cells is revealed

December 07, 2007

During muscle regeneration, which is a natural response to injury and disease, environmental cues cause adult muscle stem cells (satellite cells) to shift from dormancy to actively building new muscle tissue. Although the signaling pathways controlling muscle regeneration are fairly well known, how these signals lead to altered chromatin structure remains undiscovered. A group of scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, CA, analyzed the mechanism by which certain cellular signaling cues cause epigenetic modifications when released within the regenerative microenvironment, thus controlling the expression of genes that regulate growth and differentiation of muscle stem cells that repair injured muscle.

In a recent publication in Molecular Cell, the scientific group, led by Pier Lorenzo Puri, MD, Ph.D., shows how two signaling pathways, PI3K/AKT and p38, work together to assemble components of the protein complexes responsible for muscle-specific transcription, and how each pathway is responsible for a distinct step in the transcription process. Additionally, the team was able to pharmacologically separate these two steps, showing that selective interference with either cascade leads to incomplete assembly of protein complexes, thus preventing muscle-specific gene expression. The results point to possible pharmacological avenues for selective control of gene expression in adult muscle stem cells that may have therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine.
-end-
Dr. Puri is an Assistant Professor in the Tumor Development Program at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research. The study was conducted in collaboration with the Dulbecco Telethon Institute at Fondazione Santa Lucia/EBRI; Department of Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts-New England Medical Center; and The Whittier Institute.

About Burnham Institute for Medical Research

Burnham Institute for Medical Research conducts world-class collaborative research dedicated to finding cures for human disease, improving quality of life, and thus creating a legacy for its employees, donors, and community. The Institute is headquartered in La Jolla, CA where it was established as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation in 1976 and is now home to three major centers: a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center; the Del E. Webb Center for Neurosciences, Aging and Stem Cell Research; and the Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center. In 2006, Burnham established a center for bionanotechnology research at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Burnham is currently establishing a campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida that will focus on diabetes and obesity research and will expand the Institute's drug discovery capabilities. Today, Burnham employs more than 800 people and ranks consistently among the world's top 25 organizations for its research impact and among the top four research institutes nationally for NIH grant funding. For additional information about Burnham and to learn about ways to support its research, visit www.burnham.org.

Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Related Medical Research Articles from Brightsurf:

Patients say ask before using medical records for research
A new study led by Michigan Medicine researchers finds that even when patients understand the overall benefit to society, they still want to be able to give consent at least once before their de-identified data is used for research.

Most patients willing to share medical records for research purposes
In a survey, UC San Diego researchers report most patients are willing to share medical records for research purposes, with a few caveats.

Tax hurts investment in medical device research and development
New Iowa State University research shows companies cut funding for research and development in response to a tax imposed on medical devices as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Centralized infrastructure facilitates medical education research
The Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance has enabled a large number of research teams to conduct meaningful scholarship with a fraction of the usual time and energy.

Sex, gender, or both in medical research
Only a minority of medical studies take sex and gender into account when analyzing and reporting research results.

Research!America to honor medical and health research advocacy leaders
Research!America's 21st annual Advocacy Awards will honor outstanding advocates for research whose contributions to health and medicine have saved lives and improved quality of life for patients worldwide.

Ohioans say it is important for the state to lead in education and medical research
An overwhelming majority of Ohio residents say it is important for the state to be a leader in education (89 percent) and in medical and health research (87 percent), according to a state-based public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America.

Medical research influenced by training 'genealogy'
By analyzing peer-reviewed scientific papers that examined the effectiveness of a surgical procedure, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine provide evidence suggesting that the conclusions of these studies appear to be influenced by the authors' mentors and medical training.

Diversity in medical research is a long way off, study shows
Despite Congressional mandates aimed at diversifying clinical research, little has changed in the last 30 years in both the numbers of studies that include minorities and the diversity of scientists being funded, according to a new analysis by researchers at UCSF.

Research!America to honor leaders in medical and health research advocacy
Research!America's 20th annual Advocacy Awards will honor exceptional advocates for research whose achievements in their fields have brought hope to patients worldwide.

Read More: Medical Research News and Medical Research Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.