Epigenetics of Skeletal Muscle Regeneration

@Hernández Lab

Skeletal muscle comprises nearly 40% of total body mass. It plays a crucial role on locomotion and regulates systemic energy metabolism among many other vital functions. This tissue is mainly composed of mature multinucleated, non-mitotic muscle cells called myofibers. In order to upkeep with physical demands and tissue turnover, skeletal muscle is dynamically remodeled and repaired through life.

Satellite cells (SCs), a population of muscle resident stem cells, are responsible for the regeneration of injured muscles. In healthy resting muscle, SCs are in a quiescent state, under reversible mitotic arrest and slow metabolic activity. In response to muscle injury, SCs can be activated, resulting in proliferation, differentiation, and self-renewal to produce muscle progenitors and daughters stem cells.

Our general aim is to understand the molecular networks and epigenetic modulators that ensure the proper functioning of muscle stem cells within the regenerative environment, and to dissect how extracellular signaling is converted into information that controls gene expression programs during skeletal muscle regeneration in health and diseases.

Specific areas of interest include:

Transcriptional Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Differentiation

Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Muscle Fiber Type Identity

Identification of Molecules to Enhance Skeletal Muscle Regeneration

Molecular Mechanisms of Ataxia Spinocerebellar Type 7