In new research published online on November 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) a team of researchers from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Stanford University identified a key protein involved in the “activation and proliferation” of adult muscle stem cells known as satellite cells. Led by senior authors Dr. Jeanne Wilson-Rawls, associate professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, and Dr. Thomas Rando, professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the researchers identified that Numb, a protein involved in regulating protein degradation, normally suppresses Myostatin. Cells lacking Numb have increased levels of Myostatin and fail to proliferate. Numb-mediated Myostatin suppression promotes satellite cell differentiation and expansion after injury. This finding has implications for identifying novel approaches to stimulate satellite cell “activation and proliferation” to enhance muscle regeneration in diseases such as ALS.
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