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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of CD34 and Myf5 defines the majority of quiescent adult skeletal muscle satellite cells.

Skeletal muscle is one of a several adult post-mitotic tissues that retain the capacity to regenerate. This relies on a population of quiescent precursors, termed satellite cells. Here we describe two novel markers of quiescent satellite cells: CD34, an established marker of hematopoietic stem cells, and Myf5, the earliest marker of myogenic commitment. CD34(+ve) myoblasts can be detected in proliferating C2C12 cultures. In differentiating cultures, CD34(+ve) cells do not fuse into myotubes, nor express MyoD. Using isolated myofibers as a model of synchronous precursor cell activation, we show that quiescent satellite cells express CD34. An early feature of their activation is alternate splicing followed by complete transcriptional shutdown of CD34. This data implicates CD34 in the maintenance of satellite cell quiescence.In heterozygous Myf5(nlacZ/+) mice, all CD34(+ve) satellite cells also express beta-galactosidase, a marker of activation of Myf5, showing that quiescent satellite cells are committed to myogenesis. All such cells are positive for the accepted satellite cell marker, M-cadherin. We also show that satellite cells can be identified on isolated myofibers of the myosin light chain 3F-nlacZ-2E mouse as those that do not express the transgene. The numbers of satellite cells detected in this way are significantly greater than those identified by the other three markers.We conclude that the expression of CD34, Myf5, and M-cadherin defines quiescent, committed precursors and speculate that the CD34(-ve), Myf5(-ve) minority may be involved in maintaining the lineage-committed majority.[1]


  1. Expression of CD34 and Myf5 defines the majority of quiescent adult skeletal muscle satellite cells. Beauchamp, J.R., Heslop, L., Yu, D.S., Tajbakhsh, S., Kelly, R.G., Wernig, A., Buckingham, M.E., Partridge, T.A., Zammit, P.S. J. Cell Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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