Functional Genomics Characterization of Six4 During Skeletal Myogenesis

Title: Functional Genomics Characterization of Six4 During Skeletal Myogenesis
Authors: Chakroun, Imane
Date: 2016-01-29
Abstract: Adult skeletal muscles can regenerate after injury due to the presence of satellite cells, a quiescent population of myogenic progenitor cells characterized by expressing the transcription factor Pax7. Once activated, satellite cells repair the muscle damage and replenish the stem cell niche due to the coordinated function of several transcription factors including Pax7 and the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs). MRFs are skeletal muscle-specific transcription factors that can convert non-muscle cells into the myogenic lineage. MRFs are known to cooperate with other transcription factors in regulating the complex transcriptional network driving myogenic differentiation of muscle progenitors. The Six4 transcription factor emerges as a strong candidate for cooperating with MRFs. Six4 is expressed in skeletal muscles; the lack of a muscle development phenotype in Six4-null mice has been attributed to compensation by other Six family members. However, this did not exclude a critical role for Six4 during muscle development as Six1;Six4 double mutant mice show a more severe muscle phenotype than Six1 mutant mice. Nevertheless, the role of Six4 during adult muscle regeneration has never been addressed. I combined a partial loss-of-function of Six4 with high-throughput approaches to address the role of Six4 during adult skeletal muscle regeneration. I observed an important function of Six4 during muscle regeneration in vivo and in in vitro cell models. Using RNA interference assays against Six4 in tibialis anterior muscle regeneration after cardiotoxin-induced muscle damage, I observed for the first time that Six4 plays a role in proper muscle regeneration. The ability of the MRF MyoD, a central regulator of skeletal myogenesis, to convert a non-muscle cell model into the myogenic lineage was impaired with attenuated Six4 expression. I employed genome-wide approaches by combining ChIP-sequencing with gene expression profiling and identified a set of muscle genes coordinately regulated by both Six4 and MyoD. Throughout the genome, the cooperation between Six4 and MyoD was associated with binding of the H3K27me3 demethylase Utx and depletion of the H3K27me3 repressive chromatin mark. Together, these results reveal an important role for Six4 during adult muscle regeneration, and suggest a widespread mechanism of cooperation between Six4 and MyoD that correlates with modifying the epigenetic landscape of the regulatory regions of a large set of genes needed for efficient myogenesis.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -