Wang Laboratory

miRNAs in skeletal muscle stem cell and regeneration

Skeletal muscle satellite cells are adult stem cells responsible for postnatal skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. Satellite cells, which normally remain mitotically quiescent, will be activated in response to growth and stress signals to give rise to myogenic progenitor cells. Whereas the transcriptional events and signaling pathways that control satellite cell fate and function have been extensively investigated, the potential involvement of miRNAs in satellite cells has not been explored. We hypothesize that miRNAs are required for proper satellite cell fate determination and self-renewal. We have performed miRNA expression profiling analysis in satellite cells and in skeletal muscle myoblasts and have identified a dozen interesting miRNAs expressed in satellite cells. We will investigate how those miRNAs regulate the self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation of those cells. Our studies will provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.