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Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(10):1247-1261. doi:10.7150/ijbs.16463


From Nutrient to MicroRNA: a Novel Insight into Cell Signaling Involved in Skeletal Muscle Development and Disease

Yong Zhang1,2, Bing Yu1,2, Jun He1,2✉, Daiwen Chen1,2✉

1. Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an, Sichuan 625014, P. R. China.
2. Key Laboratory of Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition, Ministry of Education, China.


Skeletal muscle is a remarkably complicated organ comprising many different cell types, and it plays an important role in lifelong metabolic health. Nutrients, as an external regulator, potently regulate skeletal muscle development through various internal regulatory factors, such as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and microRNAs (miRNAs). As a nutrient sensor, mTOR, integrates nutrient availability to regulate myogenesis and directly or indirectly influences microRNA expression. MiRNAs, a class of small non-coding RNAs mediating gene silencing, are implicated in myogenesis and muscle-related diseases. Meanwhile, growing evidence has emerged supporting the notion that the expression of myogenic miRNAs could be regulated by nutrients in an epigenetic mechanism. Therefore, this review presents a novel insight into the cell signaling network underlying nutrient-mTOR-miRNA pathway regulation of skeletal myogenesis and summarizes the epigenetic modifications in myogenic differentiation, which will provide valuable information for potential therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: disease, nutrient, microRNA, mTOR, skeletal myogenesis, signaling pathways

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Zhang Y, Yu B, He J, Chen D. From Nutrient to MicroRNA: a Novel Insight into Cell Signaling Involved in Skeletal Muscle Development and Disease. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(10):1247-1261. doi:10.7150/ijbs.16463. Available from