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Open Access Research article

Highlights of glycosylation and adhesion related genes involved in myogenesis

Vincent Grassot, Anne Da Silva, James Saliba, Abderrahman Maftah, Fabrice Dupuy and Jean-Michel Petit*

Author Affiliations

INRA, UMR 1061 Unité de Génétique Moléculaire Animale, Université de Limoges, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, 123 Avenue A. Thomas, Limoges 87060, France

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:621  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-621

Published: 22 July 2014



Myogenesis is initiated by myoblast differentiation and fusion to form myotubes and muscle fibres. A population of myoblasts, known as satellite cells, is responsible for post-natal growth of muscle and for its regeneration. This differentiation requires many changes in cell behaviour and its surrounding environment. These modifications are tightly regulated over time and can be characterized through the study of changes in gene expression associated with this process. During the initial myogenesis steps, using the myoblast cell line C2C12 as a model, Janot et al. (2009) showed significant variations in expression for genes involved in pathways of glycolipid synthesis. In this study we used murine satellite cells (MSC) and their ability to differentiate into myotubes or early fat storage cells to select glycosylation related genes whose variation of expression is myogenesis specific.


The comparison of variant genes in both MSC differentiation pathways identified 67 genes associated with myogenesis. Comparison with data obtained for C2C12 revealed that only 14 genes had similar expression profiles in both cell types and that 17 genes were specifically regulated in MSC. Results were validated statistically by without a priori clustering. Classification according to protein function encoded by these 31 genes showed that the main regulated cellular processes during this differentiation were (i) remodeling of the extracellular matrix, particularly, sulfated structures, (ii) down-regulation of O-mannosyl glycan biosynthesis, and (iii) an increase in adhesion protein expression. A functional study was performed on Itga11 and Chst5 encoding two highly up-regulated proteins. The inactivation of Chst5 by specific shRNA delayed the fusion of MSC. By contrast, the inactivation of Itga11 by specific shRNA dramatically decreased the fusion ability of MSC. This result was confirmed by neutralization of Itga11 product by specific antibodies.


Our screening method detected 31 genes specific for myogenic differentiation out of the 383 genes studied. According to their function, interaction networks of the products of these selected genes converged to cell fusion. Functional studies on Itga11 and Chst5 demonstrated the robustness of this screening.

Glycosylation related genes; Satellite cells; C2C12; Myogenesis; Adhesion; Integrins; ITGA11; Early adipogenesis; Chst5