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Bmi1 enhances skeletal muscle regeneration through MT1-mediated oxidative stress protection in a mouse model of dystrophinopathy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura Greaves, Professor Robert Taylor



The Polycomb group (PcG) protein Bmi1 is an essential epigenetic regulator of stem cell function during normal development and in adult organ systems. We show that mild upregulation of Bmi1 expression in the adult stem cells of the skeletal muscle leads to a remarkable improvement of muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The molecular mechanism underlying enhanced physiological function of Bmi1 depends on the injury context and it is mediated by metallothionein 1 (MT1)-driven modulation of resistance to oxidative stress in the satellite cell population. These results lay the basis for developing Bmi1 pharmacological activators, which either alone or in combination with MT1 agonists could be a powerful novel therapeutic approach to improve regeneration in muscle wasting conditions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Di Foggia V, Zhang XY, Licastro D, Gerli MFM, Phadke R, Muntoni F, Mourikis P, Tajbakhsh S, Ellis M, Greaves LC, Taylor RW, Cossu G, Robson LG, Marino S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Experimental Medicine

Year: 2014

Volume: 211

Issue: 13

Pages: 2617-2633

Print publication date: 15/12/2014

Online publication date: 01/12/2014

Acceptance date: 10/11/2014

Date deposited: 05/08/2015

ISSN (print): 0022-1007

ISSN (electronic): 1540-9538

Publisher: Rockefeller University Press


DOI: 10.1084/jem.20140317


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Funder referenceFunder name
Great Ormond Street Children's Charity
096919/Z/11/ZWellcome Trust
G0802546/1Medical Research Council UK
G0601943Medical Research Council UK Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases
RA4/788/4Muscular Dystrophy Campaign