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New roles for RNA biology in muscle stem cell function

Speaker Name: 
Antoine de Morree
Speaker Title: 
Speaker Organization: 
Stanford University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto
Start Time: 
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 12:00pm
End Time: 
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 1:00pm
Biomed 200
Daniel Kim


Tissue regeneration depends on the timely activation of adult stem cells. In skeletal muscle, adult muscle stem cells exist in a reversible state of prolonged exit from the cell cycle, also known as quiescence. Upon injury, these cells activate and enter the cell cycle to expand and make new muscle tissue. While the quiescent state is absolutely key to muscle stem cell function, little is known of how it is regulated. A major challenge has been the lack of tools to analyze quiescent stem cells in vivo, in their niche. We used muscle stem cell-specific labeling of RNA to investigate the transcriptome of quiescent muscle stem cells in vivo. This new approach revealed the expression of differentiation genes for which the protein remained undetectable, indicating the importance of post-transcriptional regulation in muscle stem cell function. I identified the RNA binding protein Staufen1 as a translational repressor important for maintaining quiescence. I will discuss two mechanisms of post-transcriptional control of muscle stem cell function and fate.


Antoine de Morree is an Instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto. His main research interest is to understand how muscle regenerates with the goal of improving regeneration in muscle disease. Antoine de Morree received his PhD from Leiden University, The Netherlands in 2011, and completed his postdoc at Stanford University in 2018. His work has led to major awards, including the 2015 Development Grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and a leadership award from Stanford University.