Myf5 expression during fetal myogenesis defines the developmental progenitors of adult satellite cells

Stefano Biressi, Christopher R R Bjornson, Poppy M M Carlig, Koichi Nishijo, Charles Keller, Thomas A. Rando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Myf5 is a member of the muscle-specific determination genes and plays a critical role in skeletal muscle development. Whereas the expression of Myf5 during embryonic and fetal myogenesis has been extensively studied, its expression in progenitors that will ultimately give rise to adult satellite cells, the stem cells responsible for muscle repair, is still largely unexplored. To investigate this aspect, we have generated a mouse strain carrying a CreER coding sequence in the Myf5 locus. In this strain, Tamoxifen-inducible Cre activity parallels endogenous Myf5 expression. Combining Myf5CreER and Cre reporter alleles, we were able to evaluate the contribution of cells expressing Myf5 at distinct developmental stages to the pool of satellite cells in adult hindlimb muscles. Although it was possible to trace back the origin of some rare satellite cells to a subpopulation of Myf5+ve progenitors in the limb buds at the late embryonic stage (~E12), a significant number of satellite cells arise from cells which expressed Myf5 for the first time at the fetal stage (~E15). These studies provide direct evidence that adult satellite cells derive from progenitors that first express the myogenic determination gene Myf5 during fetal stages of myogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-207
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2013



  • Fetal myogenesis
  • Myf5
  • Satellite cells
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Biressi, S., Bjornson, C. R. R., Carlig, P. M. M., Nishijo, K., Keller, C., & Rando, T. A. (2013). Myf5 expression during fetal myogenesis defines the developmental progenitors of adult satellite cells. Developmental Biology, 379(2), 195-207.