PKCθ signaling is required for myoblast fusion by regulating the expression of caveolin-3 and β1D integrin upstream focal adhesion kinase

Luca Madaro, Valeria Marrocco, Piera Fiore, Paola Aulino, Piera Smeriglio, Sergio Adamo, Mario Molinaro, Marina Bouché

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fusion of mononucleated myoblasts to form multinucleated myofibers is an essential phase of skeletal myogenesis, which occurs during muscle development as well as during postnatal life for muscle growth, turnover, and regeneration. Many cell adhesion proteins, including integrins, have been shown to be important for myoblast fusion in vertebrates, and recently focal adhesion kinase (FAK), has been proposed as a key mediator of myoblast fusion. Here we focused on the possible role of PKCθ, the PKC isoform predominantly expressed in skeletal muscle, in myoblast fusion. We found that the expression of PKCθ is strongly up-regulated following freeze injury-induced muscle regeneration, as well as during in vitro differentiation of satellite cells (SCs; the muscle stem cells). Using both PKCθ knockout and muscle-specific PKCθ dominant-negative mutant mouse models, we observed delayed body and muscle fiber growth during the first weeks of postnatal life, when compared with wild-type (WT) mice. We also found that myofiber formation, during muscle regeneration after freeze injury, was markedly impaired in PKCθ mutant mice, as compared with WT. This phenotype was associated with reduced expression of the myogenic differentiation program executor, myogenin, but not with that of the SC marker Pax7. Indeed in vitro differentiation of primary muscle-derived SCs from PKCθ mutants resulted in the formation of thinner myotubes with reduced numbers of myonuclei and reduced fusion rate, when compared with WT cells. These effects were associated to reduced expression of the profusion genes caveolin-3 and β1D integrin and to reduced activation/phosphorylation of their up-stream regulator FAK. Indeed the exogenous expression of a constitutively active mutant form of PKCθ in muscle cells induced FAK phosphorylation. Moreover pharmacologically mediated full inhibition of FAK activity led to similar fusion defects in both WT and PKCθ-null myoblasts. We thus propose that PKCθ signaling regulates myoblast fusion by regulating, at least in part, FAK activity, essential for profusion gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1419
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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