P4: Muscle development and muscle stem cells

Subproject Speakers
Berlin: Carmen Birchmeier, PhD, Prof.
Paris:  Frédéric Relaix, PhD, Prof.

During skeletal muscle development, a Pax7+ progenitor cell population is established, which contributes to muscle growth and generates satellite cells late in fetal development [1]. Satellite cells are responsible for skeletal muscle regeneration, and represent the stem cell of the adult muscle [2]. Similarities between pathways that control progenitor or satellite cell renewal and differentiation are apparent. For instance, myogenic determination factors like Myf5 and MyoD control myogenic differentiation of progenitor and satellite cells. The ability to manipulate the molecular mechanisms that control proliferation, self-renewal, and myogenic differentiation has important implications for the use of satellite cells in regenerative medicine for skeletal muscle diseases. Several signaling systems, for instance Notch, BMPs, and tyrosine kinases, control proliferation of progenitors and satellite cells, and affect the balance between progenitor or satellite cell expansion and differentiation. Our previous work allows us to design strategies to manipulate adult muscle growth in a muscle stem cell-dependent and -independent manner. Moreover, we are now able to manipulate crucial muscle stem cell properties, like proliferation and differentiation, by using signaling molecules. These are pivotal tools towards the development of stem cell therapies for neuromuscular disorders. The major focus of this project is to develop strategies that recruit and expand the inherent muscle stem cell pool, which is precociously exhausted during muscular dystrophies, resulting in uncompensated muscle wasting of the affected individuals.




Jie-Shin Chen, MyoGrad doctoral student
Master, Molecular and Cellular Biology
National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Working title: Control of satellite cell maintenance and quiescence



Joana Esteves de Lima, MyoGrad doctoral student 2011-2015


Completed doctoral project:

Link between signaling pathways, cell cycle, and mechanical forces during foetal myogenesis


Date and place of defense:
September 28, 2015 in Paris
Joint doctoral degree from UPMC, Paris 6 and from FU Berlin



Joscha Griger,  MyoGrad doctoral student 2010-2015


Completed doctoral project:
Shp2 functions in postnatal skeletal muscle growth and regeneration

Date and place of defense:
November 6, 2015 in Berlin
Doctoral degree from FU Berlin



Despoina Mademtzoglou, MyoGrad doctoral student 2012-2016

Completed doctoral project:
Coorinating growth arrest and myogenesis in muscle stem cells: A molecular and cellular analysis

Date and place of defense:
September 4, 2016 in Paris
Joint doctoral degree from UPMC, Paris 6 and from FU Berlin



Antoine Zalc, MyoGrad doctoral student 2010-2014


Completed doctoral project:
Study of Pax3 and Pax7 functions during the development of the mouse embryo

Date and place of defense:
September 26, 2014 in Paris
Joint doctoral degree from UPMC, Paris 6 and from FU Berlin