SVEP1 is a novel marker of activated pre-determined skeletal muscle satellite cells

Gabi Shefer, Dafna Benayahu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we explored the expression pattern of SVEP1, a novel cell adhesion molecule (CAM), in bona fide satellite cells and their immediate progeny. We show that SVEP1 is expressed in activated satellite cells prior to their determination to the myogenic lineage. SVEP1 was also expressed during early phases of myogenic differentiation through the initial stage of myoblast fusion and myotube formation. The expression of SVEP1 was shown by immunostaining two cell culture systems: freshly isolated myofibers and primary myoblasts. Pax7 was used to pinpoint satellite cells situated in their niche on myofibers, and activated satellite cells were determined based on BrdU incorporation (Pax7+/BrdU+cells). MyoD marked satellite cells fated to undergo myogenesis as well as proliferating and differentiating myoblasts. Differentiating myoblasts and myotubes were identified based on their sarcomeric myosin expression. We showed that SVEP1 was specifically expressed in pre-determined activated satellite cells (Pax7+/ BrdU+ /MyoD-) accounting for about 24% of total satellite cells. On the other hand, SVEP1 expression was absent in quiescent satellite cells (Pax7+/BrdU-/MyoD-). Moreover, based on MyoD/sarcomeric myosin co-expression SVEP1 was shown to be expressed throughout the early phases of myogenesis up until myoblast fusion and myotube formation. A decline in SVEP1 expression occurred upon myotube maturation. We suggest SVEP1 as a potential biomarker for pre-fated satellite cells. The impact of this finding is that it may allow scrutinizing signals that affect differentiation commitment. Thus, holds a therapeutic potential for maladies that involve deregulated stem cell fate-decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Activation
  • Biomarker
  • Differentiation
  • Niche
  • Skeletal-muscle stem-cells


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