Focal adhesion kinase signaling regulates the expression of caveolin 3 and beta1 integrin, genes essential for normal myoblast fusion.
ABSTRACT: An essential phase of skeletal myogenesis is the fusion of mononucleated myoblasts to form multinucleated myotubes. Many cell adhesion proteins, including integrins, have been shown to be important for myoblast fusion in vertebrates, but the mechanisms by which these proteins regulate cell fusion remain mostly unknown. Here, we focused on the role of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), an important nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase involved in integrin signaling, as a potential mediator by which integrins may regulate myoblast fusion. To test this hypothesis in vivo, we generated mice in which the Fak gene was disrupted specifically in muscle stem cells ("satellite cells") and we found that this resulted in impaired myotube formation during muscle regeneration after injury. To examine the role of FAK in the fusion of myogenic cells, we examined the expression of FAK and the effects of FAK deletion on the differentiation of myoblasts in vitro. Differentiation of mouse primary myoblasts was accompanied by a rapid and transient increase of phosphorylated FAK. To investigate the requirement of FAK in myoblast fusion, we used two loss-of-function approaches (a dominant-negative inhibitor of FAK and FAK small interfering RNA [siRNA]). Inhibition of FAK resulted in markedly impaired fusion but did not inhibit other biochemical measures of myogenic differentiation, suggesting a specific role of FAK in the morphological changes of cell fusion as part of the differentiation program. To examine the mechanisms by which FAK may be regulating fusion, we used microarray analysis to identify the genes that failed to be normally regulated in cells that were fusion defective due to FAK inhibition. Several genes that have been implicated in myoblast fusion were aberrantly regulated during differentiation when FAK was inhibited. Intriguingly, the normal increases in the transcript of caveolin 3 as well as an integrin subunit, the beta1D isoform, were suppressed by FAK inhibition. We confirmed this also at the protein level and show that direct inhibition of beta1D subunit expression by siRNA inhibited myotube formation with a prominent effect on secondary fusion. These data suggest that FAK regulation of profusion genes, including caveolin 3 and the beta1D integrin subunit, is essential for morphological muscle differentiation.
Project description:Fusion of mononucleated myoblasts to form multinucleated myofibers is an essential phase of skeletal myogenesis, which occurs during muscle development as well as during postnatal life for muscle growth, turnover, and regeneration. Many cell adhesion proteins, including integrins, have been shown to be important for myoblast fusion in vertebrates, and recently focal adhesion kinase (FAK), has been proposed as a key mediator of myoblast fusion. Here we focused on the possible role of PKC, the PKC isoform predominantly expressed in skeletal muscle, in myoblast fusion. We found that the expression of PKC is strongly up-regulated following freeze injury-induced muscle regeneration, as well as during in vitro differentiation of satellite cells (SCs; the muscle stem cells). Using both PKC knockout and muscle-specific PKC dominant-negative mutant mouse models, we observed delayed body and muscle fiber growth during the first weeks of postnatal life, when compared with wild-type (WT) mice. We also found that myofiber formation, during muscle regeneration after freeze injury, was markedly impaired in PKC mutant mice, as compared with WT. This phenotype was associated with reduced expression of the myogenic differentiation program executor, myogenin, but not with that of the SC marker Pax7. Indeed in vitro differentiation of primary muscle-derived SCs from PKC mutants resulted in the formation of thinner myotubes with reduced numbers of myonuclei and reduced fusion rate, when compared with WT cells. These effects were associated to reduced expression of the profusion genes caveolin-3 and ?1D integrin and to reduced activation/phosphorylation of their up-stream regulator FAK. Indeed the exogenous expression of a constitutively active mutant form of PKC in muscle cells induced FAK phosphorylation. Moreover pharmacologically mediated full inhibition of FAK activity led to similar fusion defects in both WT and PKC-null myoblasts. We thus propose that PKC signaling regulates myoblast fusion by regulating, at least in part, FAK activity, essential for profusion gene expression.
Project description:The cysteine protease calpain 3 (CAPN3) is essential for normal muscle function, since mutations in CAPN3 cause limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. Previously, we showed that myoblasts isolated from CAPN3 knockout (C3KO) mice were able to fuse to myotubes; however, sarcomere formation was disrupted. In this study we further characterized morphological and biochemical features of C3KO myotubes in order to elucidate a role for CAPN3 during myogenesis. We showed that cell cycle withdrawal occurred normally in C3KO cultures, but C3KO myotubes have an increased number of myonuclei per myotube. We found that CAPN3 acts during myogenesis to specifically control levels of membrane-associated but not cytoplasmic beta-catenin and M-cadherin. CAPN3 was able to cleave both proteins, and in the absence of CAPN3, M-cadherin and beta-catenin abnormally accumulated at the membranes of myotubes. Given the role of M-cadherin in myoblast fusion, this finding suggests that the excessive myonuclear index of C3KO myotubes was due to enhanced fusion. Postfusion events, such as beta1D integrin expression and myofibrillogenesis, were suppressed in C3KO myotubes. These data suggest that the persistence of fusion observed in C3KO cells inhibits subsequent steps of differentiation, such as integrin complex rearrangements and sarcomere assembly.
Project description:Myoblast fusion into functionally-distinct myotubes to form in vitro skeletal muscle constructs under differentiation serum-free conditions still remains a challenge. Herein, we report that our microtopographical carbohydrate substrates composed of bioactive hexa-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (GlcNAc6) modulated the efficiency of myoblast fusion without requiring horse serum or any differentiation medium during cell culture. Promotion of the differentiation of dissociated mononucleated skeletal myoblasts (C2C12; a mouse myoblast cell line) into robust myotubes was found only on GlcNAc6 micropatterns, whereas the myoblasts on control, non-patterned GlcNAc6 substrates or GlcNAc6-free patterns exhibited an undifferentiated form. We also examined the possible role of GlcNAc6 micropatterns with various widths in the behavior of C2C12 cells in early and late stages of myogenesis through mRNA expression of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms. The spontaneous contraction of myotubes was investigated via the regulation of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4), which is involved in stimulating glucose uptake during cellular contraction. Narrow patterns demonstrated enhanced glucose uptake rate and generated a fast-twitch muscle fiber type, whereas the slow-twitch muscle fiber type was dominant on wider patterns. Our findings indicated that GlcNAc6-mediated integrin interactions are responsible for guiding myoblast fusion forward along with myotube formation.
Project description:The coordinated expression of myogenic regulatory factors, including MyoD and myogenin, orchestrates the steps of skeletal muscle development, from myoblast proliferation and cell-cycle exit, to myoblast fusion and myotubes maturation. Yet, it remains unclear how key transcription factors and epigenetic enzymes cooperate to guide myogenic differentiation. Proteins of the SMYD (SET and MYND domain-containing) methyltransferase family participate in cardiac and skeletal myogenesis during development in zebrafish, Drosophila and mice. Here, we show that the mammalian SMYD3 methyltransferase coordinates skeletal muscle differentiation in vitro. Overexpression of SMYD3 in myoblasts promoted muscle differentiation and myoblasts fusion. Conversely, silencing of endogenous SMYD3 or its pharmacological inhibition impaired muscle differentiation. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of murine myoblasts, with silenced or overexpressed SMYD3, revealed that SMYD3 impacts skeletal muscle differentiation by targeting the key muscle regulatory factor myogenin. The role of SMYD3 in the regulation of skeletal muscle differentiation and myotube formation, partially via the myogenin transcriptional network, highlights the importance of methyltransferases in mammalian myogenesis.
Project description:Myoblast fusion is essential for the formation of skeletal muscle myofibres. Studies have shown that phosphatidylserine is necessary for myoblast fusion, but the underlying mechanism is not known. Here we show that the phosphatidylserine receptor stabilin-2 acts as a membrane protein for myoblast fusion during myogenic differentiation and muscle regeneration. Stabilin-2 expression is induced during myogenic differentiation, and is regulated by calcineurin/NFAT signalling in myoblasts. Forced expression of stabilin-2 in myoblasts is associated with increased myotube formation, whereas deficiency of stabilin-2 results in the formation of small, thin myotubes. Stab2-deficient mice have myofibres with small cross-sectional area and few myonuclei and impaired muscle regeneration after injury. Importantly, myoblasts lacking stabilin-2 have reduced phosphatidylserine-dependent fusion. Collectively, our results show that stabilin-2 contributes to phosphatidylserine-dependent myoblast fusion and provide new insights into the molecular mechanism by which phosphatidylserine mediates myoblast fusion during muscle growth and regeneration.
Project description:Myoblast fusion is critical for the formation, growth, and maintenance of skeletal muscle. The initial formation of nascent myotubes requires myoblast-myoblast fusion, but further growth involves myoblast-myotube fusion. We demonstrate that the mannose receptor (MR), a type I transmembrane protein, is required for myoblast-myotube fusion. Mannose receptor (MR)-null myotubes were small in size and contained a decreased myonuclear number both in vitro and in vivo. We hypothesized that this defect may arise from a possible role of MR in cell migration. Time-lapse microscopy revealed that MR-null myoblasts migrated with decreased velocity during myotube growth and were unable to migrate in a directed manner up a chemoattractant gradient. Furthermore, collagen uptake was impaired in MR-null myoblasts, suggesting a role in extracellular matrix remodeling during cell motility. These data identify a novel function for MR during skeletal muscle growth and suggest that myoblast motility may be a key aspect of regulating myotube growth.
Project description:Real-time, quantitative measurement of muscle progenitor cell (myoblast) differentiation is an important tool for skeletal muscle research and identification of drugs that support skeletal muscle regeneration. While most quantitative tools rely on sacrificial approach, we developed a double fluorescent tagging approach, which allows for dynamic monitoring of myoblast differentiation through assessment of fusion index and nuclei count. Fluorescent tagging of both the cell cytoplasm and nucleus enables monitoring of cell fusion and the formation of new myotube fibers, similar to immunostaining results. This labeling approach allowed monitoring the effects of Myf5 overexpression, TNF?, and Wnt agonist on myoblast differentiation. It also enabled testing the effects of surface coating on the fusion levels of scaffold-seeded myoblasts. The double fluorescent labeling of myoblasts is a promising technique to visualize even minor changes in myogenesis of myoblasts in order to support applications such as tissue engineering and drug screening.
Project description:The tumor suppressor Rb is thought to control cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. We recently showed that differentiating Rb-deficient mouse myoblasts can fuse to form short myotubes that quickly collapse through a mechanism involving autophagy, and that autophagy inhibitors or hypoxia could rescue the defect leading to long, twitching myotubes. Here we determined the contribution of pRb relatives, p107 and p130, to this process. We show that chronic or acute inactivation of Rb plus p107 or p130 increased myoblast cell death and reduced myotube formation relative to Rb loss alone. Treatment with autophagy antagonists or hypoxia extended survival of double-knockout myotubes, which appeared indistinguishable from control fibers. In contrast, triple mutations in Rb, p107 and p130, led to substantial increase in myoblast death and to elongated bi-nuclear myocytes, which seem to derive from nuclear duplication, as opposed to cell fusion. Under hypoxia, some rare, abnormally thin triple knockout myotubes survived and twitched. Thus, mutation of p107 or p130 reduces survival of Rb-deficient myoblasts during differentiation but does not preclude myoblast fusion or necessitate myotube degeneration, whereas combined inactivation of the entire Rb family produces a distinct phenotype, with drastically impaired myoblast fusion and survival.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are effective therapies with demonstrated antineoplastic activity. Nilotinib is a second-generation FDA-approved TKI designed to overcome Imatinib resistance and intolerance in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Interestingly, TKIs have also been shown to be an efficient treatment for several non-malignant disorders such fibrotic diseases, including those affecting skeletal muscles. METHODS:We investigated the role of Nilotinib on skeletal myogenesis using the well-established C2C12 myoblast cell line. We evaluated the impact of Nilotinib during the time course of skeletal myogenesis. We compared the effect of Nilotinib with the well-known p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580. MEK1/2 UO126 and PI3K/AKT LY294002 inhibitors were used to identify the signaling pathways involved in Nilotinib-related effects on myoblast. Adult primary myoblasts were also used to corroborate the inhibition of myoblasts fusion and myotube-nuclei positioning by Nilotinib. RESULTS:We found that Nilotinib inhibited myogenic differentiation, reducing the number of myogenin-positive myoblasts and decreasing myogenin and MyoD expression. Furthermore, Nilotinib-mediated anti-myogenic effects impair myotube formation, myosin heavy chain expression, and compromise myotube-nuclei positioning. In addition, we found that p38 MAPK is a new off-target protein of Nilotinib, which causes inhibition of p38 phosphorylation in a similar manner as the well-characterized p38 inhibitor SB203580. Nilotinib induces the activation of ERK1/2 and AKT on myoblasts but not in myotubes. We also found that Nilotinib stimulates myoblast proliferation, a process dependent on ERK1/2 and AKT activation. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that Nilotinib may have important negative effects on muscle homeostasis, inhibiting myogenic differentiation but stimulating myoblasts proliferation. Additionally, we found that Nilotinib stimulates the activation of ERK1/2 and AKT. On the other hand, we suggest that p38 MAPK is a new off-target of Nilotinib. Thus, there is a necessity for future studies to investigate the long-term effects of TKIs on skeletal muscle homeostasis, along with potential detrimental effects in cell differentiation and proliferation in patients receiving TKI therapies.
Project description:Myoblast differentiation into mature myotubes is a critical step in the development and repair of human skeletal muscle. Here we show that small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based silencing of the Ste20-like mitogen-activated protein 4 kinase 4 (Map4k4) in C2C12 myoblasts markedly enhances expression of myogenic differentiation genes, myoblast fusion, and myotube diameter. In contrast, adenovirus-mediated expression of native Map4k4 in C2C12 cells attenuates each of these processes, indicating that Map4k4 is a negative regulator of myogenic differentiation and hypertrophy. Expression of a Map4k4 kinase-inactive mutant enhances myotube formation, suggesting that the kinase activity of Map4k4 is essential for its inhibition of muscle differentiation. Map4k4 regulation of myogenesis is unlikely to be mediated by classic mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, because no significant difference in phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38, or c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is observed in Map4k4-silenced cells. Furthermore, silencing of these other MAPKs does not result in a hypertrophic myotube phenotype like that seen with Map4k4 depletion. Uniquely, Map4k4 silencing upregulates the expression of the myogenic regulatory factor Myf5, whose depletion inhibits myogenesis. Furthermore, Myf5 is required for enhancement of myotube formation in Map4k4-silenced cells, while Myf5 overexpression rescues Map4k4-mediated inhibition of myogenic differentiation. These results demonstrate that Map4k4 is a novel suppressor of skeletal muscle differentiation, acting through a Myf5-dependent mechanism.