Stems Cells and Development - CNRS URA 2578  

  HEADDr. TAJBAKHSH Shahragim /
  MEMBERSDr. CASTEL David / Dr. CHRETIEN Fabrice / Dr. GAYRAUD-MOREL Barbara / Dr. LE ROUX Isabelle / Dr. MOURIKIS Philippos / Dr. SAMBASIVAN Ramkumar JORY Aurélie / MAIA Teresa / ROCHETEAU Pierre/ CROULLEBOIS Elisabeth / DUMAS Gérard / FLAMANT Patricia/ PAISANT Sylvain

  Annual Report

Introduction: Our aim is to characterise stem cells and their daughters during embryonic and postnatal development of skeletal muscle to understand how this tissue is established, and how it regenerates during disease, and after injury. We are examining the genetic networks which regulate myogenic stem cell birth, and relating this to how cell order is established in this lineage. We are also investigating how stem/progenitor cells self-renew, essentially via symmetric vs. asymmetric cell divisions, and how the stem cell niche is defined.
Background: The paired/ homeodomain genes Pax3 and Pax7, and the myogenic determination genes Myf5, MyoD and Mrf regulate skeletal muscle stem and progenitor cells. Using mouse mutants, we established epistatic relationships between these key regulators, and spatiotemporally uncoupled lineage progression (1, 2). We also show that skeletal muscle stem cells are heterogeneous in the organism. In adult muscle, we showed that the cell fate determinant Numb segregates asymmetrically during satellite cell divisions. Intriguingly, "immortal" template DNA strand cosegregation also occurs in vivo and in vitro (3). Transcription factors are also distributed asymmetrically during division in this system.
Objectives: 1) Genetic regulation and lineage. Different alleles of Myf5 and Pax7 are used to examine stem cells and their niche in the embryo and postnatally to understand how the stem cell population resists differentiation. We aim to distinguish stem from committed cells in muscle and study their respective roles in muscle growth and regeneration. Developmental microarrays have been done using GFP knock-ins to identify novel regulators in self-renewal and commitment.
2) Stem cell properties, self-renewal, and niche. Asymmetric cell divisions and the role of the niche, are being examined to determine how stem cells self-renew and differentiate. We are also studying the mechanism of template DNA strand cosegregation to understand how this phenomenon relates to stem cells and epigenetic regulation.

3)Regenerative myogenesis. Another aim is to isolate and characterise mouse and human stem cells and examine their function in reconstitution assays by transplantations into injured dystrophic or normal muscles. We are investigating the roles of Pax7 and the myogenic determination genes in this context. Using genetically modified mice and specific markers, we are examining the anatomy of the muscle niche and how this may regulate the stem cell state. Collectively, these studies should provide a link between the normal development of a tissue, its deregulation during disease, and its regeneration via the recruitment of stem and progenitor cells.

References: 1) Kassar-Duchossoy et al. (2005). Genes & Dev. 2) Tajbakhsh (2005) Exp. Cell. Res. 3) Shinin et al. (2006). Nature Cell Biology.

Keywords: stem cells, asymmetric cellular division, skeletal muscle, somites, satellite cells, Myf5, MyoD, Mrf4, Pax3, Pax7, Numb, “immortal” template DNA strands


Fig. Asymmetric divisions in satellite cells. A) readout of asymmetric apparatus using Numb. B) Pulse-chase with BrdU (red) showing asymmetric segregation of template DNA strands to one daughter cell in anaphase in vivo.


Kassar-Duchossoy, L., Giacone, E., Gayraud-Morel, B., Jory, A., Gomès, D., Tajbakhsh, S. (2005). Pax3/Pax7 mark a novel population of primitive myogenic cells during development. Genes & Dev. 3:1426-1431.

Shinin, V., Gayraud-Morel, B., Gomes, D., and Tajbakhsh, S. (2006). Asymmetric division and cosegregation of template DNA strands in adult muscle satellite cells. Nat Cell Biol 8, 677-82.

Christov, C., F. Chretien, R.A. Khalil, G. Bassez, G. Vallet, F.J. Authier, Y. Bassaglia, V. Shinin, S. Tajbakhsh, B. Chazaud, and R.K. Gherardi (2007). Muscle Satellite Cells and Endothelial Cells: Close Neighbors and Privileged Partners. Mol Biol Cell. 18:1397-409. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Gayraud-Morel, B., F. Chrétien, P. Flamant, D. Gomès, P.S. Zammit, and S. Tajbakhsh (2007). A role for the myogenic determination gene Myf5 in adult regenerative myogenesis. Dev Biol. 312:13-28 Epub 2007 Sep 11.

Cossu G, Tajbakhsh S. (2007). Oriented cell divisions and muscle satellite cell heterogeneity. Cell 129(5):859-61.

Activity Reports 2009 - Institut Pasteur
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