Satellite cells are resident adult stem cells that are required for regeneration of skeletal muscle. However, signalling mechanisms that regulate satellite cell function are less understood.
Scientists demonstrate that transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is important in satellite stem cell homeostasis and function. Inactivation of TAK1 in satellite cells inhibits muscle regeneration in adult mice. TAK1 is essential for satellite cell proliferation and its inactivation causes precocious differentiation.
Moreover, TAK1-deficient satellite cells exhibit increased oxidative stress and undergo spontaneous cell death, primarily through necroptosis.
TAK1 is required for the activation of NF-κB and JNK in satellite cells. Forced activation of NF-κB improves survival and proliferation of TAK1-deficient satellite cells. Furthermore, TAK1-mediated activation of JNK is essential to prevent oxidative stress and precocious differentiation of satellite cells.
Collectively, this study suggests that TAK1 is required for maintaining the pool of satellite stem cells and for regenerative myogenesis.