Myostatin inhibits myosatellite cell proliferation and consequently activates differentiation: evidence for endocrine-regulated transcript processing

    1. Buel D Rodgers
    1. Department of Animal Sciences, 124 ASLB, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington Center for Muscle Biology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA
    1. (Correspondence should be addressed to B D Rodgers; Email: danrodgers{at}


    Myostatin is a potent negative regulator of muscle growth in mammals. Despite high structural conservation, functional conservation in nonmammalian species is only assumed. This is particularly true for fish due to the presence of several myostatin paralogs: two in most species and four in salmonids (MSTN-1a, -1b, -2a, and -2b). Rainbow trout are a rich source of primary myosatellite cells as hyperplastic muscle growth occurs even in adult fish. These cells were therefore used to determine myostatin's effects on proliferation whereas our earlier studies reported its effects on quiescent cells. As in mammals, recombinant myostatin suppressed proliferation with no changes in cell morphology. Expression of MSTN-1a was several fold higher than the other paralogs and was autoregulated by myostatin, which also upregulated the expression of key differentiation markers: Myf5, MyoD1, myogenin, and myosin light chain. Thus, myostatin-stimulated cellular growth inhibition activates rather than represses differentiation. IGF-1 stimulated proliferation but had minimal and delayed effects on differentiation and its actions were suppressed by myostatin. However, IGF-1 upregulated MSTN-2a expression and the processing of its transcript, which is normally unprocessed. Myostatin therefore appears to partly mediate IGF-stimulated myosatellite differentiation in rainbow trout. This also occurs in mammals, although the IGF-stimulated processing of MSTN-2a transcripts is highly unique and is indicative of subfunctionalization within the gene family. These studies also suggest that the myokine's actions, including its antagonistic relationship with IGF-1, are conserved and that the salmonid gene family is functionally diverging.

    • Received in final form 27 July 2012
    • Accepted 3 August 2012
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 7 August 2012
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