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Abnormal epigenetic changes during differentiation of human skeletal muscle stem cells from obese subjects

  • Cajsa Davegårdh
  • Christa Broholm
  • Alexander Perfilyev
  • Tora Henriksen
  • Sonia García-Calzón
  • Lone Peijs
  • Ninna Schiøler Hansen
  • Petr Volkov
  • Rasmus Kjøbsted
  • Jørgen F P Wojtaszewski
  • Maria Pedersen
  • Bente Klarlund Pedersen
  • Dov B. Ballak
  • Charles A. Dinarello
  • Bas Heinhuis
  • Leo A B Joosten
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Allan Vaag
  • Camilla Scheele
  • Charlotte Ling
Publishing year: 2017-02-22
Language: English
Pages: 1-27
Publication/Series: BMC Medicine
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: BioMed Central

Abstract english

Background: Human skeletal muscle stem cells are important for muscle regeneration. However, the combined genome-wide DNA methylation and expression changes taking place during adult myogenesis have not been described in detail and novel myogenic factors may be discovered. Additionally, obesity is associated with low relative muscle mass and diminished metabolism. Epigenetic alterations taking place during myogenesis might contribute to these defects. Methods: We used Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip Kit (Illumina) and HumanHT-12 Expression BeadChip (Illumina) to analyze genome-wide DNA methylation and transcription before versus after differentiation of primary human myoblasts from 14 non-obese and 14 obese individuals. Functional follow-up experiments were performed using siRNA mediated gene silencing in primary human myoblasts and a transgenic mouse model. Results: We observed genome-wide changes in DNA methylation and expression patterns during differentiation of primary human muscle stem cells (myoblasts). We identified epigenetic and transcriptional changes of myogenic transcription factors (MYOD1, MYOG, MYF5, MYF6, PAX7, MEF2A, MEF2C, and MEF2D), cell cycle regulators, metabolic enzymes and genes previously not linked to myogenesis, including IL32, metallothioneins, and pregnancy-specific beta-1-glycoproteins. Functional studies demonstrated IL-32 as a novel target that regulates human myogenesis, insulin sensitivity and ATP levels in muscle cells. Furthermore, IL32 transgenic mice had reduced insulin response and muscle weight. Remarkably, approximately 3.7 times more methylation changes (147,161 versus 39,572) were observed during differentiation of myoblasts from obese versus non-obese subjects. In accordance, DNMT1 expression increased during myogenesis only in obese subjects. Interestingly, numerous genes implicated in metabolic diseases and epigenetic regulation showed differential methylation and expression during differentiation only in obese subjects. Conclusions: Our study identifies IL-32 as a novel myogenic regulator, provides a comprehensive map of the dynamic epigenome during differentiation of human muscle stem cells and reveals abnormal epigenetic changes in obesity.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • ARPP21
  • CGB
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • IL-32
  • Insulin resistance
  • MT
  • Myogenesis
  • Obesity
  • PSG
  • TGF-β3


  • LUDC (Lund University Diabetes Centre)-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1741-7015
Sonia Garcia-Calzon
E-mail: sonia [dot] garcia_calzon [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

Epigenetics and Diabetes


Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Entrance 72, House 91:12. SE-205 02 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00