This article is part of the Research Topic MicroRNA pathways in translational biomedicine


Front. Genet., 13 September 2011 |

Dystrophin orchestrates the epigenetic profile of muscle cells via miRNAs

April K. Marrone and Halyna R. Shcherbata*
  • Max Planck Research Group of Gene Expression and Signaling, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany

Mammalian musculature is a very robust and dynamic tissue that goes through many rounds of degeneration and regeneration in an individual’s lifetime. There is a biological program that maintains muscle progenitor cells that, when activated, give rise to intermediate myoblast progeny that consequently differentiate into mature muscle cells. Recent works have provided a picture of the role that microRNAs (miRNAs) play in maintaining aspects of this program. Intriguingly, a subset of these miRNAs is de-regulated in muscular dystrophies (MDs), a group of fatal inherited neuromuscular disorders that are often associated with deficiencies in the Dystrophin (Dys) complex. Apparently, transcriptional expression of many of the muscle specific genes and miRNAs is dependent on chromatin state regulated by the Dys–Syn–nNOS pathway. This puts Dystrophin at the epicenter of a highly regulated program of muscle gene expression in which miRNAs help to coordinate networking between multiple phases of muscle maintenance, degeneration, and regeneration. Therefore, understanding the role of miRNAs in physiology of normal and diseased muscle tissue could be useful for future applications in improving the MD therapies and could open new clinical perspectives.

Keywords: muscular dystrophy, Dys–Syn–nNOS, epigenetic regulation, dystrophin, miRNAs

Citation: Marrone AK and Shcherbata HR (2011) Dystrophin orchestrates the epigenetic profile of muscle cells via miRNAs. Front. Gene. 2:64. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2011.00064

Received: 12 July 2011; Paper pending published: 29 July 2011;
Accepted: 26 August 2011; Published online: 13 September 2011.

Edited by:

Michael Rossbach, Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore

Reviewed by:

Francesca Fanini, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Italy
Kin Fai Au, Stanford University, USA
Hui Ling, MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Copyright: © 2011 Marrone and Shcherbata. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Halyna R. Shcherbata, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Goettingen, Germany. e-mail: halyna.shcherbata@mpibpc.